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Samoa’s PM keynotes at U.N. Climate Conference in Marrakech

Apia, SAMOA — Samoa’s Prime Minister Sailele Malielegaoi is among the government leaders at the United Nations Climate Conference in Marrakech, Morocco where negotiators are on going to see how the Adaptation Fund can serve the Paris Agreement on the global fight against climate change.

The Adaptation Fund finances projects and programs to help developing countries adapt to climate change.

 In his keynote address, Tuilaepa noted that over the past year, they have collectively contributed to the achievement of a historic turning point in the global fight against climate change. “Our solidarity to commit to the cause was made more evident with the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on the 4th of November a truly unprecedented global achievement. All Pacific small island states signed and ratified before then. The ‘rush’ in momentum should not be allowed to slow down, and that all countries that have yet to join the agreement must do so.”

Tuilaepa noted that he and his delegation are there to determine how they can back up words with real action and in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We want to ensure that the decisions we make here are not simply procedural but are time-bound and action oriented. We have come together to identify linkages between human rights, gender equality and climate change. We have come to identify opportunities to collaborate and exchange knowledge and good practices, with a view to strengthen capacities to deliver responses to climate change, that are good for people and planet.” He noted at the UN Climate Change conference that Marrakech, should be the start of strengthening countries’ ambition in line with the 1.5 degrees target and national long-term country strategies.

“There is urgency in increasing nationally determined contributions over the next two years, if we are to avert jeopardizing the Paris Agreement’s essential temperature goals. Let us therefore, turn our attention to the built-in mechanisms to assess progress and scale up ambition as they are indeed the action points!”  Tuilaepa said there is a need for a real balance between adaptation and mitigation expenditures as well as, finding ways to finance loss and damage, are essential to move the finance agenda forward.

According to Tuilaepa, climate finance is particularly important for the special case of small islands developing states, given the significant amount of financial, technical, technological and capacity building support needed, to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. “Therefore we would call on the climate finance entities to expedite work, to facilitate access to such resources through simplified approval procedures and enhanced readiness support. The early release of the finance roadmap for providing US$100 billion annually is critical,” he said.

He said that for the Paris Agreement to be universal, effective capacity building is critical to enable developing countries to facilitate fulfillment of their new requirements and transition towards low carbon and climate resilient economies. “For this reason, we in the Pacific are looking towards the recently launched Pacific Climate Change Centre based at SPREP headquarters Samoa as the center of excellence that will offer new opportunities to facilitate innovative ways to address the challenges of climate change in our region.”