- Pastor Morgan Gegera, Director of the Home for Christ Samoa
- Acting Prime Minister / Acting Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment – Hon. Tuala Tevaga Iosefo Ponifasio
- Former Director General of SPREP, Pastor Leota Kosi Latu
- Excellencies and Distinguished Members of the Diplomatic Corps
- Distinguished representatives of SPREP Members, joining virtually and in-person here at the PCCC
- Representatives of peer CROP and UN Agencies
- Representatives of SPREP’s partners, NGO community, Institutions, and Universities
- PSIDs Meeting delegates
- Guests, ladies and gentlemen
Good afternoon, Talofa lava and Bula Vinaka!
I am pleased to welcome you all to the Pacific Climate Change Centre today for the launch of the Pacific Climate change Centre 100-kilowatt (kW) Rooftop Solar System and the Pacific Voices, the Pacific Climate Change Voyage Book.
I would also like to acknowledge those who are joining us virtually. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the Pacific and the world and the way we work. It has also provided a new norm of operation for us all and for the Pacific Climate Change Center, through a blended platform for us to attend in person and virtually.
Also acknowledging our PSIDS coordinators who are in country for the PSIDS preparatory meeting for UNFCCC COP27 and joining us for this event, great to have you with us today for this event.
Our Pacific leaders have stated that climate change and resilience is a standing regional priority for the Blue Pacific continent. This is in recognition of the fact that climate change is the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security, and well-being of Pacific people.
As coordinator for climate change action in the region, SPREP continues to lead the region’s response to climate impacts. The Pacific Climate Change Centre, hosted here at SPREP will continue to live up to its aspiration as a globally respected Centre of Excellence providing practical information, support, and training to address the adaptation and mitigation priorities of Pacific communities. The Centre is also underpinned by strong partnerships with Pacific Governments, applied research institutions, donors, civil society, and the private sector.
Reducing net-zero emissions is necessary to limit global warming to well below 2oC and towards 1.5oC, which are the temperature targets of the Paris Agreement. More than 50 countries around the world have set targets to achieve net zero emissions, usually by 2050, and most other countries are working on similar targets. Achieving these goals requires transformations in power, transport, agriculture, land use, buildings, industry, and waste management. Although there are solutions to transitioning to a carbon neutral economy, including technological and behavioral changes, and they often come with economic, social or development benefits, many obstacles prevent their implementation.
The launch of the Pacific Climate Change Centre 100-kilowatt rooftop solar system is in line with the green guidelines which include the generation of affordable, low-carbon energy through the installation of renewable energy technologies. It also showcases that we walk the talk in our region and in the Pacific and doing our part to minimize GHG emissions and keeping to the 1.5 degrees target. The 100kW solar powered system has an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change, which is critical to protecting humans, wildlife, and the ecosystems of the Pacific. We acknowledge the assistance of the Government of Samoa, our host government, through the office of the Regulator (OOTR) and the Electric Power Cooperation (EPC) and MNRE.
Today we will also launch the Pacific Voices: The Pacific Climate Change Voyage Book which is an innovative call to action for a 1.5 degrees Celsius world. Our call to action continues to be amplified. Our shared legacy that humanizes the impacts of climate change, informed by science, with the strength of our words, and art and our experiences, are the collective voices of creativity, reason and vision of our Pacific Island people.
I would also like to acknowledge the strong partnerships with Pacific Governments including our host Government Samoa and acknowledge the presence of the Hon Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa. The generous support of the Governments of Japan and New Zealand, Australia, Germany, the Irish fund, and the regional NDC hub through SPREP and partners.
I would like to wish you all the best for a successful launch of the two initiatives today.
Vinaka vaka levu