Pacific leaders continue the push for 1.5 degrees

President of the Federated States of Micronesia, Peter Christian, focused on the challenges of climate change at the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly in September. He said the UN community needed to better their response to climate change in the Pacific as it poses an existential threat to his country and other small island developing States. Image: UN

The Pacific Islands Forum continues to push urgency towards limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, putting pressure on the negotiated well below 2 degrees goal of the Paris Agreement.

The chair of the PIF and President of the Federated States of Micronesia, Peter Christian, said limiting the temperature goal is critical to safeguard the wellbeing and existence of people in the Pacific.

“This is something the Forum is pushing very hard for because together the current, intended nationally determined contributions still fall considerably short of even reaching the ‘well below 2 degrees’ goal that was agreed to in Paris.”

‘Rapid response’

However, Christian praised the political will of the countries that prioritised their ratification of the Paris Agreement last week. This has enabled the Agreement to come into force from November 4, 2016.

“The Pacific called for a rapid response from the world to address the issues stemming from climate change, and we are very happy to see these first important steps being completed.

“While there is still a lot of work to be done, to see the global community rise to this challenge in this way gives us great hope.”

Next steps

President Christian said that from here the next steps were to ensure that the first meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement and the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Marrakech in November, produces increased commitment for climate change action and resilience.

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