RELEASE: Pacific Political Climate Champions share Priorities for COP27

Tuesday 12 July, Suva, Fiji – In a hybrid technical briefing held in Suva in the margins of the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM), Pacific Political Climate Champions discussed the region’s priorities for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change twenty-seventh Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from 6 – 18 November.

Keeping temperature increases to below 1.5 degrees, access to climate change finance, a new Financing facility for loss and damage, environmental integrity and ocean-climate nexus were among key priorities and messages discussed by the Pacific Political Climate Champions.

The Political Climate Champions who attended the briefing included Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister of Economy, Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum championing the Ocean-Climate nexus; Palau Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment, Hon. Steven Victor championing Environmental Integrity; Tuvalu Minister of Finance, Hon. Seve Paeniu championing Loss and Damage; and with Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, who champions Climate Finance, being represented by his Special Envoy to the 51st PIFLM, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Ms Tepaeru Herrmann.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna stated that “the Pacific Political Climate Champions initiative is a joint effort between the One CROP Team. The initiative was our collective response to Members’ request to explore new approaches elevating our Pacific voice and strategic political engagement at the COP.”

“COP 27 needs to be an implementation COP, and we in the Pacific must not settle for anything less. We must demand all States to urgently turn their pledges and commitments into concrete actions,” he said.

Sharing his way-forward reflections for COP27, Fiji Attorney General and Minister of Economy, Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that the Ocean and Climate Change dialogue that took place in Bonn in June this year was the first mandated Ocean event under the UNFCCC process which provides a space for large ocean states to influence and strengthen ocean-based actions.

“The call to Blue Nationally Determined Contributions and ensure oceans are part of our long-term strategies is one we must sustain. If we do not decarbonise the shipping sector, create climate resilience fisheries, develop aquaculture and ocean based renewable energy, we run the risk of missing a major opportunity to protect both our oceans and our economy. We want to see strong reference to the ocean in the COP27 Outcome,” Hon. Sayed-Khaiyum emphasized.

Palau Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment, Hon. Steven Victor stated that he remains hopeful that “we as Blue Pacific nations continue to have one united voice and continue to call for higher ambition; we must keep pushing these developed nations to act. We talked about the need for this financing to hit the ground sooner rather than later and continue to call on those responsible to make financing accessible.”

Minister Paeniu said that he had hoped there would be more progress made on the Loss and Damage Financing Facility discussions in the recent Bonn meeting but that didn’t happen. He emphasised that “We need a more strategic approach going into COP27 and put a specific proposal on the Loss and Damage Facility and what it might look like for our region.”

The briefing brought Champions together with the technical leads and officials from the governments of Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu supported by the One CROP team (SPREP, PIFS, SPC, FFA and USP), to further elaborate on the preparations and Pacific priorities for COP27. It was also an opportunity for the Champions to support PIF Leaders discussions on the issue of Climate Change as well consolidate their role as Political Climate Champions going into COP27.

This briefing was facilitated by the One CROP Team with support by PIFS through the European Union’s Intra-ACP GCCA+ Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES). -Ends

Lisa Williams-Lahari
Public Affairs Adviser;
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat


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