Climate Action Pacific Partnership Closing Statement on behalf of Development Partners

July 28, 2018

The Honorable President of the Republic of Nauru

The Honorable Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa

The Honorable Heads of Governments and Ministers

The Honorable Fiji COP23 High-Level Champion

Excellencies, Ambassadors, distinguished delegates:

I am pleased to read this statement on behalf of bilateral and multilateral development partners, including the UN system organizations.

The Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) was initiated with the aim of building a coalition of Pacific stakeholders, supported by regional and international partners, joined by their commitment to accelerate climate action in the Pacific and support international efforts to achieve the emission reduction targets set by the Paris Agreement.

This year’s CAPP conference hosted the first “Pacific Regional Talanoa” as a contribution to the global Talanoa Dialogue process to urge countries to revise their national commitments to ensure a swift shift towards a net-zero emissions pathway.

The CAPP 2018 message is loud and clear stating that each and every country should commit to raising ambition on NDCs. There is a broad agreement that there will be serious impacts for people the world over if we fail to keep global temperature rise below the 1.5 degrees. That goal cannot be met with current pledges, which in turn will compromise the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We are encouraged that the Regional Pacific NDC Hub will support countries in the region with implementing and enhancing their NDCs, by providing technical assistance and facilitating partnerships.

In that vein, pre-2020 action is of utmost importance in order to meet the central aims of the Paris Agreement. Doing more before 2020 will lay a solid foundation for enhanced post-2020 ambition. A key pre-2020 action will be for all Parties to ratify the Doha Amendment as soon as possible.

The greatest injustice of climate change is that those who have contributed the least to climate change are suffering the most. All states must take adequate measures to counter the threats posed by climate change to the enjoyment of human rights, and ensure that those who are at the frontlines of climate change are meaningful participants in, and the primary beneficiaries of, climate action.

At the local level, actions that build resilience must be directly integrated into local planning processes. It is critical to include the most vulnerable urban and peri-urban communities into local climate action planning, to promote informal settlement resilience and link to area-based adaptation approaches such as ridge-to-reef.

Today’s children are the least responsible for climate change, but they and the future generations are the ones who will live with its consequences. And, as is so often the case, disadvantaged communities face the gravest threat. Climate change can contribute to the increased spread of major killers of children, such as malnutrition, malaria and diarrhoea.

More broadly, protecting human health from the impacts of climate change in the short and long term, is fundamental to our survival. The Fiji Presidency has provided a platform for Health and Climate Change discussions at COP23, with SIDS-focused initiatives emanating from them, including the development of the Pacific Action Plan on Climate Change and Health launched at the 71st World Health Assembly in May this year.

Further, the Fiji Presidency elevated the concept of Just Transition to a new level in international discourse by initiating the Working Group on Just Transition and Decent Work. Three ingredients are of critical importance for the Just Transition, namely the awareness raising and engagement of the private sector, business community and MSMEs in climate action; social dialogue as the key instrument for forging ahead across all sectors; and safety nets and technical assistance to support the transition towards a zero-net carbon economy.

Climate change and environmental factors already have direct and indirect impacts on human mobility particularly in the Pacific region. Migration can save lives, enhance resilience and reduce risks – but it can also increase vulnerability and exposure to new risks. Given this nexus, migration is firmly anchored in the Taskforce on Climate Displacement under the Paris Agreement. For climate action in the Pacific, migration should also be considered as a cross-cutting issue, and countries should be encouraged to factor various forms of human mobility into relevant policy frameworks such as National Adaptation Plans and NDCs.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen:

We must stress the importance of mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction into critical sectors in order to save lives at the time of disaster and also to Build Back Better. The compounding of climate and disaster risks is exacerbated by ongoing population growth in exposed areas such as coastal and river plains.

In the context of climate change and disaster-induced displacement, it is critical to put people at the centre of action, and respect disaster-affected populations as partners and contributors to disaster response, preparedness and resilience.

Governments and partners in the region are moving impressively to address these challenges. The Pacific has emerged as a global example of integrated and inclusive action to reduce climate and disaster risks. It is a hallmark of the region that Fiji’s COP23 Presidency has done much to highlight.

As there are many climate change related projects ongoing in the region, information sharing and coordination to avoid duplication is extremely important for effective and complementary implementation.

The establishment of the Pacific Resilience Partnership (PRP) Taskforce holds promise to enhance resilient development outcomes in the Pacific through an inclusive all-stakeholder approach.

The CAPP 2018 has helped illustrate progress, draw lessons from ongoing work and inspire a broad cross-section of climate actors in our collective effort to reach the Paris Agreement goals. Development partners are looking forward to further supporting the successful Talanoa Dialogue at COP24 in Katowice, and finding ways to implement the outcomes of the Pacific Talanoa here at CAPP.

Development partners would like to thank the Fiji Presidency for convening this important action-oriented forum highlighting partnerships for resilience and ambition with urgency. We also extend our thanks to all the funding partners who made this event possible.

Vinaka Vakalevu.