“Era of global boiling has arrived,” PNG urges urgency in addressing climate crisis

Source: SPREP

9 December 2023, Dubai UAE – Papua New Guinea (PNG) has used climate change’s biggest global platform to remind world leaders that the “era of global boiling has arrived” and unless urgent and meaningful climate actions are taken, humanity faces a very bleak future, especially Pacific communities who are at the forefront of the climate crisis.

The point was made by Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change, Honourable Simo Kilepa, quoting UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, who uttered the “era of global boiling” phrase after scientists confirmed July 2023 was on track to be the world’s hottest month on record.

“Today we meet at a critical moment amidst the global backdrop of many challenges before us,” Hon. Kilepa said. “Apart from the ever-increasing socioeconomic crisis and unresolved conflicts, the climate crisis, particularly the ongoing extreme weather and slow onset events that are rapidly multiplying across the world emphasizes to all of us, the critical need to address the climate crisis swiftly. It also justifies the warning issued by the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, that (and I quote) the “era of global boiling has arrived”.

The PNG Minister was addressing the Resumed High-Level Segment of the ongoing 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP28) in Dubai, UAE. Hon. Kilepa is among Pacific leaders and delegates amplifying the one Pacific Voice calling for urgent action to address the impacts of the climate crisis hurting all Pacific communities.

“Papua New Guinea, like many of our fellow Pacific Islands countries, will continue to reiterate that addressing climate change is a key priority for us, as this remains the single greatest existential threat to the lives and livelihoods, security and wellbeing of our people,” he said. “The importance and urgency to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees through rapid, deep and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions is critical to the survival of our small island nations.”

According to Hon. Kilepa, the latest Synthesis Report from the IPCC shows that human-caused climate change is already causing climate extremes in every region across the globe. The synthesis report also shows that the world is not on track to meet the long term goals of the Paris Agreement.

For Papua New Guinea, the Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change urged the international community to invest in the Pacific Resilience Facility, a regional financing facility endorsed by the leaders of the Pacific, to address disasters and climate change threats in our Blue Pacific Continent.

“Contributions and Pledges to this fund will make way for its operationalisation in terms of the establishment of its Structure, Board and other necessary arrangements,” he said. PNG also used the opportunity to highlight its leadership in climate change actions.

“A demonstration of our progress is our milestone achievement in reaching the Net-Zero target as outlined in the recent submission of our Second Biennial Updated Report to the UNFCCC in June 2022. The completion and launch of the 2022-2030 National Adaptation Plan (NAP) earlier this year on climate-resilient agriculture, infrastructure and transport and health sector responsiveness to climate sensitive disease is also another significant achievement for our country,” he said.

“Our National Sustainable Land Use Policy 2022 – 2032 also aims to significantly integrate and promote sustainable development whilst addressing environmental conservation and climate change, natural disasters and geohazards among others.

“In addition, my government will soon be launching inclusive policies and laws aimed at mitigating societal issues and empowering vulnerable groups including women, girls, youth, children, and marginalised communities, with focus on coordinating data.”

PNG has also launched a Medium Term Development Plan IV (2023–2027), capturing climate change and protection of the natural environment as one of the Strategic Priority Areas of development. The nation has also amended the Climate Change Management Act to give effect to the Carbon Market Regulation that will guide and strengthen how it does business in the area of carbon markets both at domestic and international levels and increase Results Based Payments for REDD+ credits.

“In light of the above, there are also serious political commitments that have been made by the PNG Government to protect our forests and marine biodiversity and use our natural resources sustainably. We remain committed to preserving these important global assets, to combat climate change and to shift to alternate sources of renewable energy,” he said.

“In return our people must be compensated for these efforts. We once again call on high carbon emitting States, and developed country economies to take lead in addressing the climate crisis through new commitments and announcements to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, they must fulfil their climate finance commitment of USD $100 billion per year to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

“We also need direct access to technology, which is fundamental for transition. The international financial institutions and development partners, including the GCF, need to ensure that their processes and guidelines are flexible and compatible with our national financial systems.

“In addition, they should be fit for purposes to address both climate and development needs so that countries like PNG can have access to climate finance for mitigation, adaptation, and to compensate for loss and damage so that we may accomplish a just transition to build resilience against the effects of climate change. We cannot continue to sacrifice our development aspirations when there is no effort to compensate us. No Funding, No Action!”

Source: SPREP