Forum SG calls on world leaders to accelerate work on loss and damage, oceans

Forum SG Henry Puna

By Pita Ligaiula

Pacific Ocean Commissioner and Forum Secretary General Henry Puna says COP26 must accelerate work on loss and damage and on oceans.

Addressing the UNFCCC COP 26 High level segment Wednesday, Puna said Pacific Leaders are leading on climate action despite contributing negligibly to the crisis.

“Pacific Leaders have endorsed a Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the face of Climate Change-related Sea-level Rise and a Pacific Resilience Facility, to build resilient communities.

“Our future – as oceanic peoples living on a sea of islands – is in the hands of this multilateral process.

“Let me implore all countries – especially the big emitters – to act with ambition.  To act now.

We cannot delay,” Puna stressed.

He said the 18 countries in the Pacific Islands Forum are working for a peaceful, inclusive and prosperous region.

“We are the Blue Pacific Continent. And we are the frontlines of the climate change crisis.

“Our islands, our ocean, our people already face the devastating impacts of climate change including rising seas, king tides and ravaging cyclones.

And so we come here to Glasgow with a critical goal in mind. To limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. This is our survival roadmap,” Puna said.

Pacific Island Forum Leaders recognise climate change as the single greatest threat to our region, he said.

“That is why action at this COP 26 is so critical.

“While there has been progress in the negotiations, more needs to be achieved.

COP26 must keep 1.5 degrees within reach, conclude the Paris Rulebook, and deliver scaled up climate finance,” said SG Puna.