Deputy Secretary General, Cristelle Pratt’s presentation at USP public Seminar on Pacific Interests at COP22

Aus Aid Performance Space

Laucala Campus, USP, Suva

11 October 2016

 

Theme: From Paris to Marrakech: Pacific interests in Marrakech and how will island states go about achieving them?

Moderator: Prof Elisabeth Holland, PACE-SD Director

Other Panelists:

  • Francois Martel, Secretary General Pacific Islands Development Forum
  • Netatua Pelesikoti, SPREP Director for Climate Change
  • Christopher Wagner, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation for the Pacific

Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning and thank you for this opportunity to provide some perspectives on the theme for this public seminar From Paris to Marrakech and the Pacific’s interests for Marrakech to be held just a few weeks away. While there are a range of issues and interests that matter to island states – I intend to focus my comments on key climate change finance priorities for COP22, and how our island states may achieve the issues and interests that matter to our Pacific Island members with regard to this. I trust that my fellow panelists will touch on the range of other issues and interests that matter to Pacific island states.

I am sure that there is concurrence that the Paris Agreement took onboard a lot of the priorities identified by the region last year, through a number of high level declarations for COP21.

Paris Agreement

For finance, key provisions of Article 9 of the Paris Agreement which are in line with the position of Pacific Island Countries for COP21 include:

  • Developed country Parties to take the lead in mobilising climate finance and to represent a progression beyond previous efforts;
  • Provision of scaled-up finance to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation;
  • Recognition of the unique vulnerability and capacity limitation of Small Island Developing States and LDCs;
  • Need for public and grant-based resources for adaptation; and
  • Ensuring efficient access to finance through simplified approval procedures and enhanced readiness support.

Post-Paris efforts

Since Paris, there have been a number of initiatives progressed by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, with other CROP agencies SPC, SPREP, USP and with various development partners, that are in support of our island States to implement different aspects of the Paris Agreement.

The Forum Secretariat became an accredited Observer to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) earlier this year. Since then we have observed the last two GCF board meetings in March and June, and we will attend the final meeting for the year to be held in Apia, in mid-December.

This role is complementary to the function of accredited implementing entities and will ensure climate change and disaster risk finance priorities identified by Leaders are linked to the work of the GCF Board.

Being an Observer enables us to provide support to Samoa as the SIDS representative on the GCF Board and Australia as Co-Chair. We also have nine of our Post Forum Dialogue partners that sit in the GCF Board, which we can seek support for the needs of the Pacific, including on issues like simplified procedures for access to the Fund.

The Forum Secretariat has also been accepted as a Readiness Delivery Partner to the GCF. This builds on previous work to strengthen country systems and readiness for access to climate change finance, through the Forum Compact and the Pacific Climate Change Finance Assessment Framework. We have recently supported Nauru with their readiness proposal which was submitted last month, and we hosted the second Pacific Green Climate Fund meeting in early August, which included a high-level ministerial segment.

Our key objective is for Pacific Island Countries to have ‘direct access’ to a wide range of funding sources beyond just the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund.

Political Leadership and Advocacy for COP22

As we prepare for COP22 in Marrakech, political advocacy for support from non-like-minded Parties remains a critical need for the region.

Pacific Leaders have demonstrated great leadership in this regard, not only advocating for the swift ratification and early entry into force of the Paris Agreement, but ensuring that their own States ratify the agreement.

Last month in their meeting in Pohnpei, Forum Leaders reaffirmed that ‘Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management’ will remain one of their top priorities for the region for 2016 and in 2017.

In line with that, Leaders endorsed the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP) and recognised its potential to support coordination and action on a number of key issues related to implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sendai Framework on disaster risk management.

Leaders agreed that the Pohnpei Statement: Strengthening Pacific Resilience to Climate Change and Disaster Risk, would complement the FRDP. The Forum Secretariat has been tasked to convene a Working Group to elaborate on the Pacific Resilience Partnership process by December 2016, to implement the FRDP.

Leaders also recognised the importance of expanding the definition of fragility, through the work of the World Bank, to encompass vulnerability to climate change and this is being discussed at the annual meetings of the World Bank now underway.

Key issues identified for COP22 include:

  • Importance of amplifying the Pacific voice at COP22;
  • Limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrialised levels is an existential matter for many Forum Members, which must be addressed with urgency;
  • Encouraging remaining Forum Members and all other countries to ratify the Agreement before the end of 2016; and
  • Calling for ambitious climate change action in and across all sectors and encouraging key stakeholders to prioritise their support for the implementation of key obligations under the Agreement.

Climate Change Finance Priorities for COP22 and beyond

In terms of key climate change finance priorities for Marrakech, the second “High-level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance” is scheduled for 3pm on Wednesday 16 November at the margins of COP22. It will build on the first dialogue held in 2013 in Warsaw at COP19.

The theme of the upcoming, second dialogue will be “Adaptation finance, needs for support to developing country Parties, and cooperation on enhanced enabling environments and support for readiness activities”. Pacific Island Countries are strongly encouraged to participate in this dialogue.

Political messages for this dialogue may include:

  • Setting a target for scaling up ‘adaptation finance’ in the context of the USD100 billion per year by 2020.
  • Prioritising Pacific (SIDS) needs in terms of access, including through simplified and direct access modalities and the availability of grant based sources of financing for adaptation.
  • Encouraging developed countries to accelerate mobilisation of the USD100 billion target and ensure the proper resourcing of funds, including the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund.

Other key needs for COP22 and subsequent COPs are:

  • To input to the COP22 discussion on a process to identify information that will be provided by developed country Parties for their biennial communication on indicative quantitative and qualitative climate finance mobilised.
  • Prior to 2025, to set a new collective quantified goal from floor of USD100 billion per year.
  • To advocate for the Adaptation Fund to serve the Paris Agreement, along with the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility.

With these remarks, I wish the Pacific team to COP22 all the very best. The Forum Secretariat is committed to supporting Pacific Island Countries with the climate finance negotiation in Marrakech. Thank you.