Pacific Climate Change Conference Highlights Efforts to Reduce Emissions, Increase Resilience
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
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Samoan Prime Minister Tuila‘epa Sa‘ilele Malielegaoi called for a concerted and more ambitious effort by all countries to reduce emissions and scale up support for adaptation in the most vulnerable countries.

Participants discussed such themes as mitigation under the Paris Agreement, modeling of impacts, adaptation strategies, reporting, climate change politics, and sea level and oceanic change.

23 February 2018: The second Pacific Climate Change Conference, themed ‘Pacific Ocean, Pacific Climate,’ brought together a range of stakeholders to exchange ideas on how to address climate change in the region. Government representatives reported on steps being taken at the national level to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Participants discussed such themes as mitigation under the Paris Agreement on climate change, modeling of impacts, adaptation strategies, reporting, climate change politics, sea level and oceanic change, ecosystems and resources, and adaptation and religion. They also considered: risks, hazards and responses; indigenous voices; economic and financial challenges; and migration and displacement.

Samoa aims to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.

In a keynote address, Samoan Prime Minister Tuila‘epa Sa‘ilele Malielegaoi highlighted climate change challenges across Samoa and the Pacific, and actions being taken to address them, including transitioning towards more renewable energy use. He called for a concerted and more ambitious effort by all countries to reduce emissions and scale up support for adaptation in the most vulnerable countries, and underscored the need for “understanding and good faith.”

Samoa’s efforts showcased at the conference include: aiming to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025; conserving and protecting mangroves, which can help strengthen resilience against the impacts of climate change; and working to keep waters clean and healthy by protecting them from land-based pollution with legislation and regulations, as the approximately 80% of marine debris from land-based sources threaten the country’s marine wildlife.

Hosted by the Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the conference convened from 21-23 February 2018 in Wellington, New Zealand. [Conference Website] [SPREP Press Release on Opening of Conference] [SPREP Press Release on Samoan Efforts]


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