Excellency Mr. Simon Kofe, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tuvalu,
Excellency Mr. Satyendra Prasad, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations,
Excellency Mr. Henry Puna, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS),
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to address this side event on Pacific Climate Change Mobility and Human Security at COP27.
I express my appreciation to the Governments of Fiji and Tuvalu for leading this initiative and co-hosting this event with us and to all implementing partners of the Pacific Climate Change Migration and Human Security (PCCM-HS) Programme for organizing this event.
As you know, Pacific countries are the smallest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions but are hardest hit by climate impacts.
With the world on the brink of runaway climate change as global temperatures rise to 1.1 degrees Celsius and is headed towards 1.5 degrees Celsius, we must continue to press for urgent and deep climate action.
If temperatures rise 1.7 to 1.8 degrees Celsius above the levels of the 1850s, half the world's population could be exposed to life-threatening heat and humidity, according to IPCC estimates. This could lead to the displacement of 200 million people by 2050.
The stakes have never been higher for the Pacific. Pacific leaders have declared a climate emergency in the Pacific region. They have underlined the need for close, concerted efforts by the international community to adapt to climate change, which poses a threat to the very survival of humankind and to mitigate the damage resulting from it.
Communities will be migrating internally and across borders, due to ocean and sea level rise if global temperatures continue to go up.
It is critical to address the drivers of climate mobility.
In this context, I call on world leaders to commit to making urgent global climate actions based on climate-smart investments and low-emission development pathways.
The science is clear. To achieve the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, we must come together to reduce emissions by 45 per cent of 2010 levels by 2030 and reach “net zero” well before 2050.
Please allow me to highlight key policy issues for your consideration as we move forward with the climate agenda beyond COP27:
- Let us support the momentum generated by COP27 and take the Paris Agreement into our work -- on energy transition, sustainable transport, and climate-smart trade and investment while continuing our efforts to build resilience.
- We need to raise our ambition with the power of sustainable and innovative finance: meet our commitments towards the promise of $100 billion per annum, allocate at least half of the climate finance for adaptation, and realign finance and investment towards the blue-green economy and decent jobs for all.
- We must work towards people-centered actions, increase investment in universal social protection and health care systems, and ensure the inclusion of vulnerable groups and communities in all development plans and programmes.
I welcome the commitment of the Pacific to advance regional innovative approaches such as the Pacific Regional Climate Mobility Framework.
I recognize the progress in the development of the draft framework and commend your continued engagement.
The climate mobility framework is a first in the world.
I am encouraged by the leadership and commitment of Pacific countries in supporting the movement of climate change-affected communities.
I am also pleased to note that this framework will directly address one of the key priority areas highlighted in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
At ESCAP, we are committed to harnessing the full potential of regional and subregional cooperation approaches, including scaling up initiatives such as the Pacific regional climate mobility framework.
ESCAP stands ready to strengthen engagement with the PIFS, regional partners, UN Member States and the UN system in supporting the programme and the Climate Mobility Joint Working Group in the Pacific.
Let us work together for our Pacific communities and be a part of their hope.
Thank you very much