Pacific’s approach to climate change

WE in the Pacific contribute the least to the harmful emissions causing climate change, but we stand to lose the most from its impacts, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He made these comments while speaking at the Third Regional Pacific Dialogue on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and consultations on the regional Pacific NDC hub in Suva yesterday.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the hub would be utilised to accelerate flows of public and private finance to every Pacific Island country — both concessional and non-concessional.

“Together, we are going to pursue new approaches and innovative strategies that would make our region an example to the world in adapting to climate impacts and pursuing sustainable development,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said. “Every nation on earth is at risk, but Pacific nations face an extreme and unique vulnerability, and that must be reflected in our NDCs.”

He said the NDCs must focus on greater ambition and they must build our overall resilience to increased flooding, rising seas and the frequent and severe cyclones causing immense destructions around the region. “This regional Pacific NDC hub gives us all a formidable new tool.

“It will allow us to share knowledge, experiences and best practices tailored to the challenges we face in the Pacific and within our own nations,” he said.

“And in wielding this tool, we need to place ourselves on the cutting edge of new strategies in adaptation and we must become incubators for new and innovative approaches that build resilience that protects our development.”

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country director and head of Pacific regional policy and program, Bakhodir Burkhanov said dialogue and consultations offered an exceptional opportunity for practical south-south exchanges on NDC implementation and underscored the role and contribution of Pacific Islands in addressing climate change.

“These discussions will generate valuable insights for NDC implementation. Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement is the best risk reduction tool we have available.

“By transitioning to resilient, low-carbon economies, we will reduce our vulnerability while limiting further negative effects of climate change. Climate action is therefore urgent and needed at transformative scale,” Mr Burkhanov said.

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