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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

09 November 2021

ES_ESCAP

Excellency Mr. Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, Minister of Economy and Climate Change for Fiji, 

Excellency Mr. Simon Kofe, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Tuvalu, 

Excellency Mr. Henry Puna, Secretary General, PIFs,

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, 

It is my honour to address this Pacific Climate Change Mobility and Human Security event at the COP26.  

I would like to express my thanks and sincere appreciation to the Governments of Fiji and Tuvalu for your support, and to all implementing partners of the Pacific Climate Change Migration and Human Security Program for organizing this important event here in Glasgow.  

Though Pacific countries are among the smallest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, they are most highly exposed to the worst of climate impacts. 

The Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reiterated that the ocean-based economies and societies are the most vulnerable to the human-induced climate changes.  

According to estimates, globally, over 200 million people could become internal climate migrants or be displaced by 2050.  

Simply speaking, it means communities in the Pacific need to migrate and incidences of displacement or relocation both internally and across borders will intentisfy due to irreversible changes in the ocean and sea levels. 

In the lead-up to COP26, the Pacific Leaders have stated that the pandemic should not delay urgent global climate actions and that recovery should be based on climate-smart investments and low-emission pathways.  

I welcome the Pacific commitment to advance regional innovative approaches. 

I note the recent Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of Climate Change-Related Sea-Level by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders. 

The declaration recognizes the threats of climate change and sea-level rise as the defining issue that imperils the livelihood and wellbeing of the Pacific peoples. 

Excellencies, 

Science is clear. To achieve 1.5 degrees Celsius target, we must come together to reduce emission by 45 per cent of 2010 levels by 2030 and reach ‘net zero’ around 2050.  

In this regard, it is critical to address the drivers of climate mobility within the Asia-Pacific regional context. 

Please allow me to highlight key policy issues for your consideration as we move forward the climate agenda beyond COP26: 

• Let us support the momentum generated by COP26 and take the Paris Agreement into our work -- on energy transition, sustainable transport, and climate-smart trade and investment. 

• We need to raise our ambition with the power of sustainable and innovative finance -- meet commitments towards the $100 billion per annum promise, allocate at least 50 per cent of climate finance for adaptation and realign finance and investment towards the green industries and decent jobs. 

• We must work towards people-centered actions, increase investment in universal social protection and health care system, and ensure the inclusion of vulnerable groups and communities in all development programmes. 

ESCAP remains committed in supporting the Climate Change Migration and Human Security (PCCM-HS) Program and the Climate Mobility Joint Working Group in the Pacific.  

The development of a rights-based climate mobility framework recognizes the irreversibility of sea-level rise, and provides a pathway.   

I am encouraged by leadership of several Pacific member States, including Fiji, in supporting the movement of climate change-affected communities.  

We believe in harnessing full potential of regional and subregional cooperation approaches, including in scaling up initiatives such as a regional climate mobility framework proposed for the Pacific.  

Let us work together for our Pacific communities and be a part of their hope. 

I count on your commitment and leadership. 

I wish everyone a successful dialogue.  

Thank you very much. 

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