While smaller Pacific Island States are calling for a global moratorium on coal mining [see story below] the Papua New Guinea government is spending K10 million on research into coal mining opportunities working in close cooperation with three international coal mining companies – COAL – PNG’s next big thing?
Pacific Smaller Island States Call For Global Moratorium On New Coal Mines
Leaders of the Pacific Smaller Island States have called on all nations, particularly the advanced economies in the region and beyond, to rise to the challenge of climate change and take transformational action to steer the world on a path where climate change is no longer a threat to earth.
As a first step in this direction, they called for a global moratorium on all new coal mines. “We cannot afford to lock in any further fossil fuel emissions. Green-Blue economies must be the way for now and into the future,” says the Smaller Island States Leaders’ Port Moresby Declaration on Climate Change.
European Union Ambassador for the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, opened the 46th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Monday.
The Leaders of the Pacific Smaller Island States said they represent the most vulnerable countries in the world and are at the frontline to the impacts of climate change. They said they are deeply concerned that the future of their nations is threatened by the impacts of climate change.
Already suffering the impacts of climate change, the leaders called upon the international community to respond with a concerted and ambitious approach to address the greatest threat to humanity.
The world must rapidly transform its use of energy from fossil fuels to low carbon development, including renewable energy and other technologies that may become available to move to zero emissions, says the Port Moresby Declaration.
The Forum is held a few months ahead of the UN Climate Conference in Paris (COP21), which aims to agree on a new protocol, legal instrument or an agreed outcome to address climate change. The Pacific leaders reminded that “this is our last chance to reach an outcome that must reverse the global warming pathway to ensure the future survival and existence of our nations, people and culture.”
They called for “a new and ambitious international climate change agreement that will be adopted in Paris. It must be comprehensive, forward looking, effective and legally binding in all aspects.”
The leaders of Pacific Smaller Island States urged that COP 21 must deliver a legally binding agreement, which will limit global average temperature increase to well below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. They also wanted the Paris Conference to uphold the polluter pay principle; conduct a major renewal of international mitigation commitments every five years; and ensure ease of access to adequate and predictable finance, technology and capacity building to ensure that Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries can transition to fossil fuel free economies and to have the ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Meanwhile, the European Commission said that during the five-day conference in Port Moresby, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will sign sustainable energy declarations with six Pacific countries – the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Tonga – which aim to accelerate action towards their national energy objectives and increase access to sustainable energy.
The Pacific Islands Forum is a political grouping of 16 independent and self-governing states, which include Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.