The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the adverse impacts of climate change, Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has told an international conference.
The Prime Minister had made the comments during the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting which was held virtually on 17 September.
Emphasising the parallel threats of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change,Mata’afa said having added an additional layer of risks that further exacerbate Samoa’s vulnerability which derailed development efforts and hard fought gains.
“The pandemic has exacerbated the adverse impacts of climate change. While the COVID19 virus has not infected everyone globally, climate change has been ruthlessly pervasive and affected all countries,” the Prime Minister said.
According to Mata’afa, Samoa has submitted its Second Nationally Determined Contribution focusing on economy-wide as well additional sector specific emissions reductions.
“The support by the Commonwealth for Samoa to meet these ambitious adaptation and mitigation actions would be welcomed,” she said.
“Our commonwealth family represents more than a quarter of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and almost one third of the world’s population. More than half of us are small states, with many SIDS, Samoa inclusive.
“We therefore take pride in the continued leadership of the Commonwealth members in providing and calling for ambitious climate action.”
The Prime Minister said small island developing states is counting on this united approach to encourage all countries especially the major emitters, to achieve net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.
“It is critical for a liveable climate to keep the 1.5 degrees promise within reach,” she said. “In closing I thank the United Kingdom as COP26 President for their proactive engagement and commitment, and pledge our support for a much anticipated successful Conference,” she said.
SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS