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The 1.5C limit is non-negotiable for the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS).  In the face of adversity with the Climate Action Tracker report released at COP26 this week, as well as very small numbers within the Pacific delegation, the island region has ramped up its call upon the world to honour their promise of the Paris Agreement.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Pacific islands delegation has shrunk considerably in number at COP26 in comparison to past COPs.  Yet still the region perseveres in the hope that big polluters will demonstrate leadership at COP26 for all humanity.

With climate change being the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and wellbeing of Pacific islands people, the Pacific SIDS have asked the G20 to lead by example.

“We urge all nations to uphold the Paris Agreement, the thread that binds us together.  We must accept the critical importance of reaching net-zero as soon as possible, no later than 2050.  We must adapt to protect our people, environment and natural resources,” presented Hon. Bruce Billimon, Minister of Health and Human Services for the Marshall Islands as presented the statement on behalf of the PSIDS as the high-level resumed at COP26.

“We need more ambition on climate mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and climate finance.  We need to raise the level of ambition in Nationally Determined Contributions, and those yet to submit NDCs must do so without further delay – and ensure that they’re aligned with a pathway of 1.5C.”

The Pacific islands region has been consistent in its call for fossil fuel subsidies to be phased out and redirected coal use to end.  The need for increased funding for mitigation and adaptation is vitally needed to keep the 1.5-degree in reach, and while the Pacific welcomes recent climate finance announcements the promised USD 100 billion per annum is long overdue.

In 2015 at COP21, the Paris Agreement signaled an era of hope for all of humanity as the world came together to do as much as possible to help mitigate and adapt to climate change. During week two of COP26 much of this hope has dwindled as countries have not done enough to meet their obligations.

“The increase of natural disasters we see today will only get worse unless we commit to real action.  Past responses have been fragmented and slow. We cannot afford further erosion of trust.  The pace must change.  COP26 is an opportunity to demonstrate our common humanity,” presented Minister Billimon.

“Let us take urgent decisions to address all the outstanding matters before us.  Let us make COP 26 a turning point in our collective efforts to raise the level of ambition and save our planet for future generations, and to avoid a climate catastrophe in our children’s lifetime.”

The Twenty-Sixth Conference of the Parties is held in Glasgow, having started on 31 October it is scheduled to end on 12 November, yet negotiations may go beyond this.  The Pacific Small Islands Developing States with the Alliance of Small Islands States have stated very clearly what is needed for their survival and will persevere in their calls for this.