Leaders at the 46th Pacific Island Forum have issued a Declaration on Climate Change Action, laying out 13 points that Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) call for as part of the outcome of the Paris Climate Change Conference in December 2015.
The Declaration also underscores the growing threat posed by climate change to PICTs, and the difficulty the region faces in adapting.
11 September 2015: Leaders at the 46th Pacific Island Forum have issued a Declaration on Climate Change Action, laying out 13 points that Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) call for as part of the outcome of the Paris Climate Change Conference in December 2015. The Declaration also underscores the growing threat posed by climate change to PICTs, and the difficulty the region faces in adapting.
PIF 46 and associated events took place in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on 7-11 September 2015.
On mitigation and adaptation in the Paris outcome, the Declaration on Climate Change Action calls for: ambitious commitments by all Parties to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; regular review of mitigation commitments; requirements for Parties to progressively enhance national and global mitigation action; relevant provisions to support further actions under the Warsaw Framework for REDD+; recognition of the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable and marginalized groups; support for ongoing and improved weather services; and acknowledgment of the crucial role of women.
The Declaration also calls for: recognition of the special circumstances of small island developing States (SIDS); transparency and accountability; accelerated and effective delivery of international support; a commitment from developed countries to scale up the provision of financial resources; simplified access to financial resources; and inclusion of loss and damage as a stand-alone issue.
During the week, Smaller Island States (SIS) Leaders also issued a statement, the Port Moresby Declaration on Climate Change, which calls for the Paris agreement to: limit global average temperature increase to well below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels; ensure human rights are protected; uphold the Polluter Pays principle; address all sources of GHG emissions; review international mitigation commitments every five years; include a mechanism to address loss and damage as a stand-alone element of the agreement; ensure ease of access to adequate and predictable finance, technology and capacity building; and recognize the special circumstances of SIDS and Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
In addition to the climate change declarations, the Forum resulted in the Hiri Declaration on Strengthening Connections to Enhance Pacific Regionalism. Signed by the the Heads of State and Government of the PIF Member Countries, the Hiri Declaration acknowledges the traditional and cultural trading and barter networks that brought the “People of the Pacific” together, and in view of the common challenges faced by the region, sets out to take effective and meaningful actions to implement people-to-people, institutional and physical connectivity.
In light of past declarations that reaffirm the importance of business, trade and investment, sustainable development and management of oceans and resources, and gender equality, as well as regional cooperation, the Heads of State and Government commit to take 17 actions to strengthen Pacific regionalism.
The Declaration reflects the remarks of the outgoing PIF Chair, Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of Palau, delivered on 9 September 2015 at the Forum. Commenting on the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, adopted at PIF 45, he emphasized that SIS “have the most to benefit from regional approaches to addressing key issues.” Remengesau also focused on oceans, particularly on progress made since leaders endorsed the Palau Declaration, ‘The Ocean: Life and Future, Charting a Course to Sustainability,’ at the last Forum. He pointed to great strides made against illegal fishing through the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs).
In her remarks at the event, Forum Secretary General Meg Taylor reinforced the importance of regionalism, stating that the Framework calls for a “shift in the development paradigm,” away from a dependence on development assistance that prevents the region’s people and leaders from setting their own agenda.
The Communiqué issued at the end of the Forum notes that leaders expressed support for a successful UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda in September 2015, and called for a country-driven process in tailoring global indicators to national context.
A number of events took place in conjunction with the Forum, including the Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Regional Forum, the convening of SIS Leaders, and a meeting of the Pacific grouping of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States at the beginning of the week, with the Forum officially beginning from 8 September 2015. [Declaration on Climate Change Action] [Port Moresby Declaration on Climate Change] [Hiri Declaration] [PIF Outgoing Chair Remarks] [PIF Secretary General Opening Remarks] [PIF Press Release] [PIF Communiqué] [CSO Statements] [UNISDR Press Release]