Tag Archives: UNGA 2014

Local IKiribati children face an uncertain future as their islands' capacity to support the population diminishes. Photo: Finn Frandsen, Politiken

Pacific countries already feeling the effects of climate change

Local IKiribati children face an uncertain future as their islands' capacity to support the population diminishes. Photo: Finn Frandsen, Politiken

Local IKiribati children face an uncertain future as their islands’ capacity to support the population diminishes. Photo: Finn Frandsen, Politiken

If reactions from the recent UN Climate Change summit are anything to go by, the world is progressing to having concrete climate change legislation by the next climate summit in Paris in 2015, says Kiribati President Anote Tong. Fiji Times, reports.

But he acknowledges this is not enough because Pacific countries are already feeling the effects of climate change and must make themselves as resilient as possible.

He said he saw a radical change in position at the UN Climate Change Summit in New York last week.

“The recent meeting was very satisfying because there has been a radical change in the positions of many countries, particularly the US, and they are coming on very strong and with the US taking that position, it is very possible that the rest will follow, perhaps even China,” President Tong said at a press conference in Suva on Wednesday. “But that is not enough.”

He said affected atoll island nations all supported the push for legislation on climate change but also needed to begin their own fight.

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HE delivering statement at UNSG Climate Summit 23 Sep 2014, New York

Statement by HE Te Beretitenti, Anote Tong during UNSG’s Climate summit

HE delivering statement at UNSG Climate Summit 23 Sep 2014, New York

HE delivering statement at UNSG Climate Summit 23 Sep 2014, New York

UNSG’s Climate Summit
Tuesday 23 September, 2014
New York

The Secretary-General Mr Ban ki-moon

Excellencies

Distinguished delegates

Ladies and gentlemen

It is indeed an honour for me to extend to you all today very warm greetings from the Government and the people of Kiribati- on whose behalf I address this august meeting. Kam na bane ni Mauri and Greetings to you all!

I wish to begin by expressing my deep appreciation to you Mr. Secretary-General, for providing us this opportunity once again to seek a clear path in our struggle to come to terms with the full implications of the challenges posed by climate change to all of humanity. But whilst the scale, the severity and the urgency of the challenges will vary from country to country, from people to people the reality remains that the only effective remedy if any will require collective global commitment and above all action.

I believe that as a global community we have achieved considerable progress on the climate change debate since our meeting at Copenhagen in 2009. Much has happened in our erratic and unusual global weather patterns, which together with the most recent AR5 IPCC and other corroborating scientific reports to clearly indicate that, as sensible people we need to start taking the right measures to prepare ourselves for what is to come. We have all made our individual contributions to the literature on the climate change debate in our eloquent speeches which we have delivered here in New York and elsewhere over the years.

Excellencies the question now is “where do we go from here?” In fact during the SIDS Conference in Samoa and since, many have asked (mainly journalists) what is it that I expect to come out of this Summit or Paris in 2015? My answer is simple – ACTION ; action that would guarantee that the future of our people can be secured.

Climate change- remains the biggest threat

Ladies and gentlemen, I have just come back from an Artic Expedition and words could never fully explain the immensity of the system in the Arctic region or the full implications of the melting of the massive sheets of ice in the Arctic region. One could not fail to make the direct connection between the melting of such a massive amount of ice and the fate of our low lying atoll islands on the equator and indeed all coastal cities. The visit also brought home to me the global nature of the processes involved in climate change and the impossibility of reversing it once it has gone so far.

Need for Sacrifice and Partnership

Excellencies against the foregoing and the background of past statements which I shall not repeat here I believe that there is need for genuine commitment and sacrifice if the challenge of climate change is to be addressed.

In this vein we as an ocean state, have made a small contribution towards the preservation of one of the greatest natural endowments – the Pacific Ocean. The establishment of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), the second largest MPA in the world which complements the Pacific Oceanscape, an initiative which encompasses other small island nations’ marine protected areas. PIPA and the Pacific Oceanscape is our Pacific contribution and with it a statement to the global community that sacrifices can indeed be made.

Excellencies earlier this year, my country together with fellow low-lying atoll island states of Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, Maldives and Tokelau – established the Coalition of Atoll Nations On Climate Change (CANCC –can see). The CANCC was not only a partnership between Climate Change frontline states, but it also forged partnership with our more developed allies. A partnership underscoring the concerns we jointly share over the slow pace of global action to address the increasing urgency and severity of the challenges we are already facing from climate change. A deep concern that for us time is fast running out.

Call for greater global leadership and commitment

The outcomes from the SIDS in Samoa, is indeed very encouraging in the commitment to establish a stand-alone goal on climate change as part of the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. However this commitment together with the leadership demonstrated by the Secretary General on this issue must be matched by our political leadership in particular by those whose participation or otherwise would mean success or failure to the process.

I have no doubt that we all agree that climate change poses a danger to all of us if in varying degrees. The science forthcoming from the IPCC AR5 and elsewhere together with our individual experiences in our own countries provide ample evidence that something is terribly wrong. Yet we continue to procrastinate, we continue to ignore what the science is telling us and indeed what we are witnessing with our own eyes.  We know that in order for us to make meaningful progress in addressing the challenge of climate change there is a need for strong and decisive global leadership – so we must get away from the wait to see who is doing what style of leadership before deciding to do what needs to be done.

For the sake of our children and their children let us do the right thing soon!

With these few words allow me to share with you all our traditional Kiribati blessing of Te Mauri, Te Raoi ao Te Tabomoa, (Health, Peace and Prosperity) to you all.

Thank you.

Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon adressing the Climate Change Summit 2014, 23 September 2014. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Announcements positive for tackling climate change as UN summit comes to an end

Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon adressing the Climate Change Summit 2014, 23 September 2014. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon adressing the Climate Change Summit 2014, 23 September 2014. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Bold new actions to immediately tackle climate change were announced today by Government, business, finance and civil society leaders attending a historic Climate Summit convened by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has long urged workable solutions based on “clear vision anchored in domestic and multinational actions.” UN News Centre reports.

“Today was a great day – a historic day. Never before have so many leaders gathered to commit to action on climate change,” Mr. Ban said, summing up the day-long event,which drew a unique mix of international players who announced their vision and commitment for reaching a universal and meaningful climate agreement in 2015, as well made announcements on actions that will reduce emissions, enhance resistance to climate change and mobilize financing for climate action.

“The Summit delivered,” declared the UN chief, noting that leaders had reaffirmed determination to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius by cutting emissions. And many, from all regions and all levels of economic development, advocated for a peak in greenhouse gas emissions before 2020, decisively reduced emissions thereafter, and climate neutrality in the second half of this century.

On finance, the Secretary-General said public and private sources showed the way forward for mobilizing the needed resources. Leaders expressed strong support for the Green Climate Fund. And a total of $2.3 billion was pledged towards the Fund’s initial capitalization today, and others committed contributions by November 2014.

“A new coalition of Governments, business, finance, multilateral development banks and civil society leaders announced their commitment to mobilize upwards of $200 billion for financing low-carbon and climate-resilient development,” he said, adding that private banks announced they would issue $20 billion in “Green Bonds” and that they would double the market to $50 billion by 2015, next year.

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