Manetoali heads gov’t delegation to COP21

Minister Samuel Manetoali

Minister Samuel Manetoali.

MINISTER for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) Hon Samuel Manetoali will be heading the Solomon Islands Government delegation to COP21 in Paris, France.

COP stands for Conference of Parties, an annual meeting of all nations that make up the United Nations Framework on Climate Change — 195 nations in total. This is the 21st meeting (thus COP21).

The conference involves pre-sessional meetings for officials from the 23rd to the 29th of November and the summit proper which runs from the 30th of November to December 11th.

Hon Manetoali will also be representing Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare at the summit’s event for leaders (heads of states and governments).

The Prime Minister wants to focus on overseeing the government’s preparation of the 2016 budget and other pressing national issues and has therefore decided not take any more overseas trips until next year.

The Solomon Islands Government delegation includes the Minister for Public Service Hon John Dean Kuku, officials from the MECDM, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Ministry of National Planning and Aid Coordination, Ministry of Forestry and Research, Honiara City Council and the Republic of China Government.

Meanwhile, Solomon Islands Government is a party to the Pacific Islands Development Forum’s Declaration on Climate Change signed by Prime Minister Sogavare and the Prime Ministers of other PIDF member countries in September 2015 in Suva, Fiji.

The declaration calls for the following:

  • The 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement to limit global average temperature increase to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels in order to transition towards deep decarbonization;
  • The 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement to be legally binding;
  • The 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement to establish explicit provisions that ensure the strongest possible efforts will be made to achieve and continuously enhance national and global mitigation action, including review of mitigation efforts every 5 years, with opportunities to recommit to stronger action as informed by science;
  • Loss and damage to be anchored as a standalone element that is separate and distinct from adaptation in the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement;
  • A special provision in the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement to fast-track urgent action required to assist the most vulnerable countries that are already experiencing existential threats from climate change;
  • An integrated approach to transitioning Pacific countries to low carbon transport futures, in particular sea transport given its central role in providing connectivity for Pacific Small Island Developing States, including a regional strategy to advocate for and monitor implementation of sector targets through relevant UN agencies commensurate with the 1.5°C threshold;
  • A new global dialogue on the implementation of an international moratorium on the development and expansion of fossil fuel extracting industries, particularly the construction of new coal mines, as an urgent step towards decarbonising the global economy;
  • Increased support for adaptation measures that address all vulnerable sectors including health, water and sanitation, energy, agriculture, forestry and fisheries;
  • Adaptation measures for Pacific Small Island Developing States to be 100% grant- financed;
  • Support the establishment of mechanisms for the payment of ocean and ecosystem services;
  • Stronger regulations regarding climate proofing of infrastructure as well as revision or formulation of building and zoning codes;
  • The development of Pacific based research and technology capacity as an essential foundation for innovation in our response to climate change;
  •  Capacity building on formal and non-formal education, knowledge management, with a particular emphasis on national languages and communication of climate change; and
  •  Support to enable the greater involvement of community, civil society (including women, youth and persons with disabilities) and the private sector, in our climate change responses and initiatives.

Source: PM’s Press Secretariat