PM Sogavare hits out at huge global emitting countries, bringing climate change to Parliament


PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has blamed the “big countries” for the causes and effects of climate change on small countries like Solomon Islands.

In his speech on the floor of Parliament yesterday he highlighted that the climate change situation in the country has “worsened and cause damages to existing infrastructures”.

Sogavare did not specify which countries, but local climate change pundits believe it to be huge global emitters like the United States, China, Russia, European Union, India, etc.

The prime minister said rising sea levels in most cases have cut off wharves from the land.

“Roads have been inundated by sea. For example, there are some parts of the northern road in Malaita that the sea has already washed away.

“These are effects of climate change on our infrastructures. Climate change that is not caused by us but by countries who are big emitters, and we bear the consequences of their actions.

“I would like to see these countries take more responsibility by helping us adapt through building of more climate resilient infrastructures.

“In some of our communities’ villages must be relocated but our challenge is the funds to relocate these villages.

“What is being done now in terms of support by those who cause this is not enough.

“To add insult to injury, access to Climate Change Funds is very difficult.

“This needs to change,” PM Sogavare said.

Sogavare also thanked the multilateral and bilateral partners who have assisted, and are assisting, in maintaining the existing infrastructures and building new ones.

Meanwhile Member of Aoke Langalanga and as the Leader of Opposition called on the government to prioritise the relocation programme that was planned to have happened in 2020.

He said the Minister responsible and the government must provide an update on the progress of those activities.

Meanwhile, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the body which advises the UN on rising global temperature, released its synthetic report on March 20 this year, warning what many say could be earth’s final window of hope to turn things around.

The report, which sums up research work of thousands of scientists over a span of eight years, called for emission cuts by around 50 percent and for countries to bring their net-zero targets forward by 10 years.

IPCC chair Hoesung Lee describes huge emitting countries’ weak commitments in his sobering phrase to launch the report – “We are walking when we should be sprinting”.

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres describes the situation as “The climate time-bomb is ticking.”

Mankind’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius looks to be out of reach. Already we have reached 1.1 degrees C.

And, in the 2030s, just seven years away, with the current rate of emission, we could hit 1.5 degrees C.

The World Economic Forum predicts that 1.5 degrees C will dramatically increase the risk of extreme weather events, more frequent wildfires with higher intensity, sea level rise, and changes in flood and drought patterns with implications for food systems collapse, among other adverse impacts.

Solomon Islands will continue to see extreme weather activities such as what transpired in February this year when two cyclones formed on our shores just a week apart.

NASA predicts that six percent of the insects, eight percent of the plants and four percent of the vertebrates will see their climatically determined geographic range reduced by more than half.

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