10 December 2019, Madrid, Spain - Kiribati has asked all global leaders to ensure the Paris Agreement Work Programme is completed this week at the Twenty-fifth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
In particular there are three key asks from Kiribati under the Paris Agreement, those being dedicated financing for loss and damage with clear guidelines, simplified and continued access to climate financing and Article 6 with clear and robust rules around ensuring environmental integrity and promoting ambition.
“The success of COP25 rests heavily on our shoulders as Leaders of the world today. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports confirm the realities of the climate crisis and our survival if we do not act now!,” presented H.E Taneti Maamau, President of Kiribati.
“This can only be achieved with low emission pathways and commitments to achieve the 1.5 degrees goal, through the phasing out of coal and enhancement of Nationally Determined Contributions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.”
Kiribati is made up of 33 low-lying atolls spread across 3.5 million km2 of ocean. With a population of over 110,000 people, at their highest elevation, the islands of Kiribati average six feet above sea level.
With its limited resources, Kiribati is doing what it can to secure the future of every child, addressed through the Kiribati Vision for 20 years. The Pacific island launched the Kiribati Climate Change Policy in 2018 and the National Action Plan in September this year leading to joint legislation on climate change and disaster risk management being enacted last month.
All of which guides efforts to build the resilience and adaptive capacity of the Kiribati people and islands.
Despite this, the national capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change is also threatened by climate change. Fisheries is a significant resource for Kiribati for which the impacts of a changing climate on the ocean would decrease review and resilience as a Government as well as exacerbate the impacts of other challenges.
“This compounds our ability as a nation to charter our own course and restricts us from achieving our fullest potential and capability as a nation to contribute effectively to our global family,” stated H.E Taneti Maamau.
The President of Kiribati ended his statement calling upon Developed Country Parties to take action now by doing what is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stating it is troubling to see that despite the science, collective voices of youth and students as well as evident climate impacts felt by different regions – we fall short of the required actions needed to make a difference.
“In closing, allow me to challenge us all, to re calibrate our systems with urgency to enhance our actions to address climate change at all levels with clear guidelines set out in the Paris Agreement Work Programme,” said President Maamanu.
“Let us usher in a new era that strengthens the fight, momentum and spirit of our people because we can either leave no one behind in this fight or allow climate change to spare no one.”
H.E President Taneti Maamau was the first speaker of the UNFCCC COP25 High-Level segment upon conclusion of the official opening.
Kiribati is also hosting a special side event at the Moana Blue Pacific Pavilion on Thursday, 12 December titled – “A Blue and Resilient Atoll Nation” from 4.15 – 5.15pm. To learn more of events happening at the Moana Blue Pacific Pavilion please visit www.pacific-pavilion.com or download the Attendify App, search for Moana Blue Pacific Pavilion and create a profile to join.
The Twenty-Fifth Conference of the Parties is held in Madrid, Spain from 2 – 13 December, 2019. The High Level Segment of COP25 is held from Tuesday 10 December to Wednesday 11 December, 2019.