Bula vinaka. It is an honour to speak to you all today on behalf of all Pacific Small Island Developing States, or PSIDS.
As a “Blue COP”, this is a fitting platform for those of us whose oceanic economies, our ecosystems, and our very existence are threatened by climate change.
As nations on the front lines of devastating cyclones and catastrophic sea level rise, we are a bloc of 10 member-states united by a shared resolve to meet the climate emergency with boldness and with ambition.
This sense of ambition must carry us –– and the world –– forward as we prepare for COP26 in Glasgow. But that essential ambition is far off course, as our priorities here in Madrid have run into challenges that, much like the crisis itself, are man-made.
The negotiations on market mechanisms must deliver robust rules and regulations that protect environmental integrity, prevent double-counting, promote an overall mitigation of global emissions, and provide an avenue for more reliable resources to be used for rapid adaptation.
Instead of taking ambitious steps forward, we’re seeing backwards attempts to re-write the Paris Agreement and bring in credits that have already been created under the Kyoto Protocol.
Further, the Pacific is concerned that humanity is on the cusp of another terrifying crisis: the abandonment of science.
While our climate change projects have to be science-driven and evidence-based in order to be approved, certain actors are happy to pay lip service and not meet the demands that well-established science has revealed. Worse still, others have put on blinders, and are denying the very existence of an immense wealth of information and science.
Ladies and gentlemen, the world must adjust course to avert catastrophe. We must align our NDCs to common, five-year timeframes, and we must agree on the governance modalities, procedures, and guidelines for carbon markets under Article 6 without delay.
We must seek out new and innovative ways to address loss and damage, and PSIDS call for the establishment of a new financing window within the Green Climate Fund to do so.
We must ensure we reach the $100 billion-dollar climate finance goal by 2020, and we must begin work on setting a new collective goal for climate finance for 2025 and beyond.
For the survival of PSIDS, and for the world, we must set a stage not of ignorance and denial –– but of ambition –– for COP26.
Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.