Securing the future of climate resilience in the Pacific cannot be left to chance

Noumea

Following the publication of the Initial Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Synthesis Report aimed at measuring the progress of national climate action plans ahead of COP26, the United Nations warned in late February that current levels of climate action were not on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C.  

This is a significant challenge and setback for the Pacific region, given the climate leadership it has demonstrated since 2015. It is worth noting that despite the severe disruptions and sanitary challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacific countries have all honoured their UNFCCC commitments on time.

For Pacific climate resilience, it is evident that no matter how ambitious Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) get with their NDCs, the need remains for greater commitments from large emitters to keep on the 1.5°C pathway. Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) continue to suffer from the increasing impacts of climate change, which are affecting their social, cultural and economic status because the current levels of global climate ambition and action are very far from meeting the Paris Agreement goals,

PICTs have never been complacent in securing our planet, but rather assertive and proactive in their action and have always led global commitments on climate change with hope and enthusiasm.

The foresight and vision of Pacific leaders lead to the setup of the Regional Pacific NDC Hub, which was a call made by leaders following the inaugural Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) Conference held in Suva, Fiji, in the lead up to COP23. The Regional Pacific NDC Hub is an innovative multi-partner platform that supports member PICTs to advance their NDC implementation and while doing so, help strengthen their resilience to climate change through adaptation and risk reduction measures, as well as the acceleration of the transition towards a fossil-fuel-free, energy secure future.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the greatest public health crisis of our time, securing the future of the sustainable, low-carbon and climate-resilient Pacific cannot simply be left to chance, but rather requires a long-term vision, a carefully thought regional strategy, and most importantly a collective commitment to achieve it.

The members of the NDC Hub have requested a long-term vision (Strategy 2030) that presents aspirations and pathways towards a resilient future. This is a major step forward, for the region which needs to be matched globally, considering the fact that PICTs contribute to a mere 0.14% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, while countries representing more than 70% of global emissions are yet to submit their NDCs.

With its launch planned on 8th April 2021, the NDC Hub Strategy 2030 presents Pacific leaders’ aspirations and operationalizes support to assist PICTs to achieve national priorities with respect to the Paris Agreement and its commitments. It complements the regional vision for shared prosperity through the Blue Pacific Continent and is a  regional contribution to the Agenda 2030, by complementing activities through Goal 2 of the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP). It is also aligned with the Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change Action Now.

This strategy, as well as PICTs’ continuous commitment to achieve their NDC objectives sends a clear signal that Pacific leadership on climate action has never faded, even as we navigate the challenge of COVID-19. It gives us hope and solace that the region is committed to securing a sustainable future not only for the region, but also for the rest of the world.

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Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability (CCES) Programme

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