By Pita Ligaiula in Glasgow
As COP26 enters its final week of negotiation, Pacific Small Islands Developing States (PSIDS) have expressed disappointment with the slow progress being made in Glasgow.
Samoan Prime Minister and Chair of PSIDS Naomi Fiame Mata’afa told the Pacific Leaders Informal Dialogue with UK Lord Goldsmith Monday, their collective position is that if COP26 is to be a success, they need significantly more progress made this week.
“We must not detract from having our voices being heard loud and clear in this second week if this process is to maintain credibility and that we feel the sense of genuine sharing of our mutual aspirations for a resilient and sustainable future.
“We are disappointed with the slow progress being made in Glasgow. But we cannot leave Glasgow without fighting to keep the 1.5C goal alive. This has to be the benchmark against which every decision coming out of COP26 is tested.
“We must come away from the COP with clear and achievable steps to ratchet greater ambition ahead of COP27. We need to see a pathway to 1.5˚C as we are currently heading towards catastrophe for our islands. The decisions in Glasgow must call on Parties to bring forward strengthened 2030 NDCs in line with 1.5 pathways well ahead of COP27. Each year of delayed action towards 2030 will push us a step further to the abyss created by climate change,” PM Mata’afa said.
She said the Glasgow package must translate into deliverable actions on the ground – for example, halting fossil fuel subsidies.
“We are deeply disappointed that we have been let down by developed countries who have failed to deliver their US$100bn a year obligation in 2020 by way of climate finance. It is therefore imperative that in week 2 of COP26 we should see concrete action on long term climate financing post 2025, including scaling up and a balancing out to a 50-50 split of climate finance for adaptation and mitigation.
“We are on the frontlines of climate change and need the resources so that the promised increase in adaptation ambition can be realised in our countries. These resources must be made more accessible; as it stands, it takes years for these resources to reach our countries before they even begin to make a meaningful difference in our communities, delivery is far too slow,” said PM Mata’afa.
On the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), Mata’afa said Pacific countries have worked with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) to establish a clear set of principles to help ensure the GGA serves their countries, is nationally determined and does not create greater burdens on Pacific countries.
“There is broad support for these principles and we believe they present a good starting point for framing this important work going forward.
“We are already experiencing intolerable loss and damage and this will only worsen as temperatures inevitably rise. Our collective expectation therefore is that this week delivers a dedicated package of resources specifically for loss and damage in addition to the required significant increase in adaptation funding,” Mata’afa explained.
She said the finalisation of the Paris rulebook must support and not undermine keeping 1.5 within reach.
“The outcome on Article 6 rules must contribute to rather than undermine ambition.
We must protect environmental integrity, especially with accounting and the Clean Development Mechanism(CDM) transition – secured through no carryover of Kyoto units; transition of only CDM vulnerable project activities.
“Our outcome in Glasgow must deliver a substantial cancellation rate for the delivery of an overall mitigation in global emissions (OMGE), to move beyond offsetting to deliver net global emission reductions –– as other approaches will not deliver additional global abatement,” the PSIDS chair said.
On transparency, Mata’afa said there must be a timely conclusion to progressing work under this agenda item.
“The PSIDS will not accept any renegotiation of the transparency rules agreed to in Katowice. Our outcome must be clear in the use of flexibility allowances, provide maximum clarity and avoidance of double counting in the tabular formats for support provided and mobilised. Use of Tables and Tabular Formats must promote and not undermine Transparency, Accountability, Consistency, Comparability and Completeness (TACCC) principles
“On common timeframes – a five-year common timeframe is the only outcome aligned with the ambition mechanism of the Paris Agreement and the urgency we collectively face” she said.
Mata’afa also said the climate change – oceans nexus is at the core of the existence as Pacific SIDS.
“Pacific nations expect oceans to be integrated into the UNFCCC processes. We have been waiting for progress on this since COP23.
“We remain committed to and will do our part to continue to push for ambitious outcomes from COP26. Remember, we are negotiating the survival of our islands” she said.
Mata’afa said PSIDS Leaders and Ministers remain committed to working closely with the COP26 Presidency.