‘My country is in a constant mode of recovery from weather extremes that are driven by climate change’- were the words echoed by Honorable Dickson Panakitasi Mua when delivering the national statement in the Nefertiti Plenary Hall during the resumed High-Level Segment of the 27th session of the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP27) on Tuesday 15th November 2022.
Hon. Mua highlighted the recent impact of a weather-related trough a week ago which caused significant flooding that destroyed homes, food gardens and transport infrastructure in the country. ‘Science is unequivocal, and the impacts of climate change are clear across the globe and at precedented levels. This is a burden that we are already struggling with and we cannot afford nor wish to pass on to our next generation’, said Hon. Mua.
On science, the Hon. Minister urged all parties to remain within the 1.5 degrees and to do so global coal use must fall between 67% and 82% by 2030 and effectively stop by 2050 across all sectors. He continued to call for the phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and more investment to accelerate low carbon development pathways and building climate resilient.
Hon. Mua also stressed the importance of loss and damage as a key priority for Solomon Islands coming into this Climate Change Conference. He reminded parties to take decision to established a loss and damage fund at this COP and commit to operationalised the fund by COP28 in 2023.
On the issue of finance, the Hon. Minister urged developed country parties to fulfill their promise and deliver on the 100-billion-dollar-goal without any further delays. He stressed that financial assistance from the climate change financial mechanism under the UNFCCC can only be relevant to Solomon Islands if they further simplify access procedures and deliver grant-based financing for adaptation that is, fit for purpose and impactful right down to indigenous who have proven to be the most effective guardians of the nature and ocean.
Climate change is inextricably linked to ocean change and the increasing risks presented by climate change threatens the health and values of our ocean, our economic prosperity, identity and livelihoods. He urges that ocean be given equal recognition and greater prominence in the UNFCCC. Hon. Mua said that ‘for us, climate change is ocean change’.
In his concluding remarks Hon. Mua urged world leaders to put differences aside and ensure that this COP delivers on its vision as the implementation COP, because beyond these walls, millions throughout the world, including our own children that we left at home are eagerly waiting for a positive outcome from Sharm El Sheikh.