12 December 2019, Madrid, Spain - Solomon Islands, stands in solidarity with other Small Islands Developing States, in the climate change negotiations to avert a climate change crisis.
Speaking before the High Level Segment of the Twenty-fifth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP25), the Permanent Secretary of Solomon Islands Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Dr Melchior Mataki told delegates – “We can do better than this!”
Solomon Islands is made up of over 900 islands, six of which are considered the “main islands”. Coastal communities in Solomon Islands are threatened by sea level rise and increasing temperatures endanger the subsistence agriculture production for local people, threatening food security.
Here at the COP25, a key expectation of Solomon Islands is the completion of the Paris Agreement Rule Book.
“Article 6 of the Paris Agreement must result in overall increased ambition and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, global fossil fuel production must be wound down as well. Kyoto Protocol carbon units need not be transitioned to the Paris Agreement market mechanisms,” stated Dr Mataki.
“Five year common time frame for reporting Nationally Determined Contributions should be agreed upon. Robust reporting and accounting rules should be in place to avoid double counting, and the mechanisms must adhere to environmental integrity and result in sustainable development and achievement of the overall goals of the Paris Agreement.”
The impacts of climate change across the planet, includes the submergence of islands in Solomon Islands. Confirmed by the three Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Reports and the latest Emissions Gap Report by the UN Environment Programme, Solomon Islands calls for all climate change work to be guided by science.
“If we don’t take heed of science which is already clear and definitive, then this multilateral process is unfortunately taking its cue from fake science,” said Dr Mataki.
“There is a limit to adaptation. Hence, Loss and Damage must be addressed with a focus on implementation through technical support and dedicated financial streams through the Green Climate Fund and other funding mechanisms.”
“On the governance of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage, we support that it comes under the mandate of both the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, and the COP.”
For Solomon Islands, finance is a key means for putting the Paris Agreement into action. The island nation calls upon the develop country parties to achieve the USD 100 billion goal by 2020, saying the discussion on long term finance must go beyond 2020, and scaled-up financing must ensure a balance between adaptation and mitigation and delivered as grants.
Solomon Islands also calls for the allocation of funding under the Global Environment Facility to increase the climate change focal area and for the co-financing arrangements to be revised to reduce the burden on developing countries.
“Although there is a sense of uncertainty, division and frustration inside these conference halls in these two weeks, let us not forget that beyond the walls of IFEMA, the globe and especially our youths and children are eagerly waiting for us to take decisions and act upon them to save us and safeguard their future,” stated Dr Mataki before delegates at the High Level Segment of COP25.
“Let us put our differences aside and ensure the Paris Agreement Rule Book is finalised without delay.”
The High Level Segment of COP25 was held on 10 to 11 December, 2019. The UNFCCC COP25 is held in the IFEMA venue in Madrid, Spain from 2 – 13 December, 2019.