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Papua New Guinea Calls for Stronger Climate Pledges from all Countries

Countries in the Pacific, including Papua New Guinea, are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and urgent transformational change is still needed to achieve the 1.5 degrees Celsius goals under the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) or climate action plans that promote adaptation and resilience aiming to reduce emissions, countries must strengthen their plans that is due in 2025, according to PNG’s Climate Special Envoy, Ruel Yamuna who delivered a statement on behalf of Coalition of Rainforest Nations or (CFRN) at COP27 climate conference in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt.

Papua New Guinea’s Climate Change Special Envoy Ruel Yamuna delivering the statement on behalf of the Coalition for Rainforests Nations. Pic supplied by CCDA

Citing the NDC Synthesis Report and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Gap report 2021, Mr Yamuna finds that both reports indicated that current NDCs are not aligned to the 1.5 degree Celsius climate goals.

“We must take stock of that reality now”, Mr Yamuna said.

In light of this alarming revelation, CFRN has recommended several crucial climate change mitigation actions, especially in the forestry sector, land-use and related sectors.

The Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CFRN) is an International Organization established by forested Tropical countries to collaboratively reconcile forest stewardship with economic development with membership of over 50 Nations, including Papua New Guinea.

 “The forest and land-use sectors have huge mitigation potential, particularly in developing countries, and are essential in all 1.5 Degree Celsius pathway. 

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report highlights that the (Agriculture, Forestry and Land-Use) AFOLU sectors can provide 20-30% of the global mitigation under the 1.5-degree Celsius pathway. 

“We strongly request that developed countries also apply the same national level guidance on any forest related activity in their territories to ensure fairness and balance. It would be inequitable that developing countries are held to a high standard than developed”, said Mr. Yamuna.  

The PNG Climate Special Envoy says rainforest nations have delivered more than 9-Giga tones of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions through Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism. However, he reiterated that developing countries have been left to carry the economic burden alone.

Mr Yamuna urged all Parties to work towards calling for greater contributions from public and private finance for REDD+, especially for corporations towards net-zero emissions.

“Developing countries cannot be expected to solve a problem they did not cause without finance to implement the Paris Agreement”, Mr Yamuna said.

Meantime, a Non-Government Organization in Papua New Guinea has reacted with concern regarding the recent announcement by Mr Yamuna representing PNG at COP27.

Interim Coordinator of Papua New Guinea Environmental Alliance (PNGEA), Pamela Avusi says an existing MOU now gives the authority to CFRN to do negotiations on behalf of PNG and also matters relating to carbon trading.

“It doesn’t show a good image because we are already indicating to the world that we do not have the capacity. We don’t have the capability to do our own trading and negotiations”, Avusi said.

Ms Avusi also says the country still does not have regulations in place to deal with trading and negotiations on matters relating to climate change, accept for the Climate Change Management Act.

“Regulations are not passed yet and it has not gone to the NEC as yet. When we are going out and making commitments we need to put our house in order first”, she said.

NBC News / PNG Today

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