Ap­plause for Pa­cific’s six in Paris deal rat­i­fi­ca­tion

This shows their com­mit­ment; it helps en­sure it will come into force: Latu

Fiji Sun - - Nation - Source: Univer­sity of the South Pa­cific Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

The Pa­cific is­lands, amongst the most vul­ner­a­ble to the im­pacts of cli­mate change, have dis­played global lead­er­ship last weekend when the Paris Agree­ment opened for sign­ing on April 22, 2016.

Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Repub­lic of the Mar­shall Is­lands, Samoa and Tu­valu were six of the 15 over­all coun­tries that sub­mit­ted their rat­i­fi­ca­tion dur­ing the spe­cial sign­ing cer­e­mony at the United Na­tions Head­quar­ters in New York. “We con­grat­u­late and com­mend our mem­ber coun­tries for their lead­er­ship in not only sign­ing but also tak­ing that extra cru­cial step to rat­ify the agree­ment, help­ing to en­sure it will come into force,” Mr Kosi Latu, di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the Sec­re­tariat of the Pa­cific Re­gional En­vi­ron­ment Pro­gramme (SPREP) said. “We are com­mit­ted to work with CROP agen­cies, our mem­ber coun­tries and part­ners to help our re­gion ad­dress cli­mate change, the big­gest threat to is­land sur­vival.” The Paris Agree­ment has far ex­ceeded the his­tor­i­cal record for first-day sig­na­tures to an in­ter­na­tional agree­ment.

Over­all there were 175 par­ties that signed the Paris Agree­ment, for which 12 out of 14 Pa­cific is­land coun­tries put pen to pa­per in sign­ing the agree­ment sig­ni­fy­ing com­mit­ment. “The sign­ing of this agree­ment comes at a crit­i­cal time for Pa­cific na­tions, and the Pa­cific Com­mu­nity will main­tain unerring com­mit­ment to work with other CROP agen­cies and the re­gion’s coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries to main­tain the mo­men­tum for col­lec­tive ac­tion,” the Pa­cific Com­mu­nity di­rec­tor-gen­eral, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said. The Fed­er­ated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiri­bati, Nauru, Palau, Pa­pua New Guinea, Repub­lic of the Mar­shall Is­lands, Samoa, Solomon Is­lands, The King­dom of Tonga, Tu­valu, and Van­u­atu were the Pa­cific is­lands that signed once it was open for sig­na­ture in New York. “Only by work­ing to­gether can we ad­dress the most se­ri­ous is­sues brought upon us by the ef­fects of cli­mate change. The CROP agen­cies will con­tinue to work to­gether; the Pa­cific will con­tinue to work to­gether; and the world must con­tinue to work to­gether to save our vul­ner­a­ble broth­ers and sis­ters, and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” Dame Meg Tay­lor, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Pa­cific Is­lands Fo­rum Sec­re­tariat said.

The Pa­cific Is­lands con­trib­ute to less than 0.03 per cent of the world’s to­tal green­house gas emis­sions but are amongst the most vul­ner­a­ble to its ef­fects. The is­land re­gion is also amongst the first to feel the im­pacts of cli­mate change. The Paris Agree­ment en­dorsed dur­ing the 21st Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties to the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change in Paris, France, marked a wa­ter­shed mo­ment in tak­ing ac­tion on cli­mate change. Af­ter years of ne­go­ti­a­tion, coun­tries agreed to limit global tem­per­a­ture rise to well be­low two de­grees Cel­sius, while pur­su­ing ef­forts to keep tem­per­a­ture rise to 1.5 de­grees. Even as the agree­ment was adopted, coun­tries recog­nised that present pledges to re­duce emis­sions were still in­suf­fi­cient to reach th­ese goals. The Paris Agree­ment man­dates reg­u­lar meet­ings ev­ery five years, start­ing in 2018, to re­view progress, and to con­sider whether it is nec­es­sary to in­crease am­bi­tion.

Vice-chan­cel­lor and pres­i­dent of The Univer­sity of the South Pa­cific (USP), Pro­fes­sor Ra­jesh Chan­dra, lauded the ef­forts of USP’s mem­ber coun­tries for their wise and timely en­gage­ment in such a cru­cial mat­ter that con­cerns the fu­ture of our Pa­cific is­land na­tions.

“In our re­solve to sta­bilise the fu­ture of our is­land na­tions, we stand firm with our CROP part­ners in en­sur­ing that this agree­ment comes into force. This could not have come at a bet­ter time es­pe­cially when the Pa­cific re­gion is con­stantly faced with nat­u­ral dis­as­ters,” he said. He added that a con­certed ef­fort such as this would go a long way in paving the way for­ward for Pa­cific is­land na­tions. The Paris Agree­ment can en­ter into force 30 days af­ter 55 Par­ties ac­count­ing for 55 per cent of global emis­sions de­posit their in­stru­ments of rat­i­fi­ca­tion.

The Fed­er­ated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiri­bati, Nauru, Palau, Pa­pua New Guinea, Repub­lic of the Mar­shall Is­lands, Samoa, Solomon Is­lands, The King­dom of Tonga, Tu­valu, and Van­u­atu were the Pa­cific is­lands that signed...

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