Climate change remains Samoa’s number one priority


The United Nations General Assembly heard first-hand that Climate change remains Samoa’s number one priority.

“The scientific evidence is clear and irrefutable. “For Pacific communities, the main challenge is securing action for survival, and we all need to shoulder our responsibilities and play our part,” said Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.

The big polluters and emitters have a moral obligation and responsibility to meet their commitments ahead of Page 5 of 14 COP27.

“Why? Because they hold the key to our achieving the 1.5-degree promise of the Paris Agreement.

“We call on all parties to commit to more ambitious NDCs to meet the Paris Agreement promise as we are all part of the solution.

“Our global commitment to implement the Paris Agreement is critical. Even with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees SIDS will continue to incur severe loss and damage.

“We must therefore promote recovery investments that are climate smart, resilient, and in line with net zero emissions by 2050.

“We are at the doorstep of COP27, we must work diligently to generate solutions to meet expectations.”

Fiame said the achievement of a 50/50 split between mitigation and adaptation funding is of paramount importance to Samoa and SIDS.

“We should not put out the flame for Loss and Damage. Natural disasters continue to devastate countless lives. Recent climate events are transboundary and drive home the reality that no country is immune to the impacts of climate change.

“These environmental threats will worsen. The triple planetary crisis is the alarm knell that is reminding us we are putting immeasurable pressure on the planet.

“Our relentless need to extract resources from nature is causing disruptions propelling climate change, destroying nature, and raising pollution levels Any response programmes must be informed by our commitment to science for informed policy; and law and institutions that strengthen environmental governance.

“We seek to further enable change through transformations in finance and economic systems; and by leveraging data and technology for the environment.”

Adding that Small island developing states like Samoa do not always have the requisite levels of capabilities and capacity to repurpose and redirect financial and economic systems towards sustainability, improve the effectiveness of legal frameworks, deliver science as the catalyst for action and be digitally connected.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face a unique set of vulnerabilities which impede their ability to achieve sustainable development.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated those vulnerabilities with many SIDS countries being particularly affected by the drop in international tourism and remittances.

“Consequently, the timely call for and endorsement of a multi-dimensional vulnerability index will allow for the inclusion of more than just income-based criteria to assess eligibility for concessional finance.

“A universal MVI could be viewed as the foundation upon which the key principles guiding specific responses to our vulnerabilities are anchored.

“It is an option and not a hindrance.

“It should be perceived as the landing zone upon which specific responses could be framed depending on the circumstances involved.

“It is a tool that provides for a richer lens on vulnerability and resilience hence its adoption and full implementation are critical for our economic recovery.”