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Climate change is an existential threat: Al Suwaidi

COP28 Director-General and Special Representative, Majid Al Suwaidi says climate change is an existential threat to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the COP28 Presidency’s intention to keep 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.

In his remarks at the Pacific SIDS High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change in Suva, Al Suwaidi underscored the COP28 Presidency’s commitment to delivering for vulnerable countries at the upcoming climate summit.

Al Suwaidi also recognised that climate change is an existential threat to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and emphasised the COP28 Presidency’s intention to keep 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.

Al Suwaidi said, “Communities here, on the frontlines of climate change, are facing sea level rise, salination of drinking water, coastal erosion, and the increasing severity of storms. These threats, coupled with the fact that the most vulnerable have done the least to contribute to the challenge, have made the Pacific Islands and SIDs worldwide moral leaders on climate action.”

He outlined the four pillars of the COP28 Presidency’s Action Agenda, which includes fast-tracking a just and orderly energy transition; fixing climate finance; focusing on people, lives and livelihoods; and underpinning everything with full inclusivity.

“These priorities are all interlinked and mutually reinforcing. And we need all stakeholders to work together to ensure we all move forward together. No one, no country, no region, no group can be left behind,” Al Suwaidi said.

Discussing the COP28 Presidency’s priorities that affect SIDS the most, Al Suwaidi reiterated the need to operationalise the Loss and Damage fund and funding arrangements and deliver early capitalisation.

He also discussed the expectation that COP28 will adopt a framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation and reiterated that the framework “must be comprehensive and include ambitious targets to drive enhanced action on adaptation by all parties to build resilience and protect lives, livelihoods and ecosystems.”

Al Suwaidi called on Pacific nations to maintain pressure on the international community to raise its climate ambition, help resolve political bottlenecks, and ensure a robust global response to the first Global Stocktake at COP28.

The COP28 Director-General stressed that Pacific Island communities on the frontlines of climate change must be at the forefront of the climate decision-making process.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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