The Pacific Islands States who believe that the Ocean plays an integral part in the climate system say that the Blue Pacific Continent they have stewardship of cannot afford the risks of exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
These sentiments have been shared time and again by Pacific Islands representatives at COP 24 and those who have presented in a myriad of side events at the Pacific and Koronivia Pavilion in Katowice, Poland.
Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi said “The recent IPCC 1.5 degrees Special Report shows that a 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming is not just a limit for Small Islands Developing States, but it is a limit for everyone.”
"From extreme weather events to sea level rise, from slowed economic growth to biodiversity loss, the report speaks to the risks of exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius. For our Blue Pacific continent, it is a risk we cannot afford," he emphasized.
By Honourable Henry Puna, Prime Minster of the Cook Islands - A key priority for my fellow Pacific Leaders and negotiators currently attending the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), is accessing climate finance, across all finance mechanisms of the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement.
The Cook Islands is a country comprising of 15 islands in the heart of the South Pacific. Under a variety of potential climate change scenarios, each one of these islands are at great risk due to sea level rise, extreme rainfall events, storm surges, strong winds or extreme high air temperatures. This disturbing reality is shared by most of the ten million Pacific islanders who inhabit the oceanic continent we call the Blue Pacific.
As our people work to adapt their communities to deal with the effects of a changing climate, our countries must again call for the scaling up of climate related financing. Our small economies simply cannot afford these efforts on their own. We seek committed and reliable partners who can help us continue with our mitigation strategies and our adaptation needs.