By Pita Ligaiula at COP28 in Dubai

Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna Saturday emphasised the importance of the 1.5-degree goal in the Paris Agreement, describing it as a “critical threshold” in Pacific fight for survival.

Puna reiterated the concerns voiced by Pacific Leaders and highlighted key initiatives aimed at securing a sustainable future for the Pacific region.

“I stand before you today to amplify and reaffirm their message.

“The 1.5-degree goal in the Paris Agreement represents a critical threshold in our fight for survival,” SG Puna said at the High Level Statement at COP28 in Dubai.

Addressing the urgency of the situation, Puna draw attention to the Port Vila Call for a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific initiated by Pacific members.

He highlighted the significance of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent as a reflection of their determination to address the region’s most pressing challenges.

“Our Leaders’ recent Declaration on Statehood is a powerful statement of our sovereignty and resilience, in the face of adversity,” Puna said.

He said that the price for comfort should not be borne by Pacific nations and future generations.

“We and our future generations should not pay the price for the comfort of the bigger developed emitters today.

“We demand urgent climate action and commitments now,” said SG Puna.

He stressed the importance of global collaboration.

“We cannot do it alone. Act with us now.

The Secretary General acknowledged the Pacific Resilience Facility, recently endorsed by Pacific Leaders, as a commitment to securing the region’s future.

He expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia and Australia for their generous commitments to the Facility and invited support from other partners to ensure its success.

“The Pacific Resilience Facility represents our commitment to securing our future. We invite support from other Partners to make the Facility a success, and to give us a fighting chance,” Puna urged.

Puna also emphasised the interconnected nature of various initiatives, including a Fossil Fuel Free future, the 2050 Strategy, the Statehood Declaration, and the Pacific Resilience Facility.

“These are all interconnected threads in the tapestry of our shared vision for a world where the 1.5-degree pathway is safeguarded.

Yes, the 1.5 degrees is the answer to the climate crisis,” he said