CLIMATE CHANGE PROMISE

US voices commitment to help Solomon Islands with its ‘most critical security challenge’

By EDDIE OSIFELO

UNITED States of America is committed to help Solomon Islands and other Pacific Island countries in addressing climate change.

Kurt Campbell, Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, National Security Council, made the assurance during a press conference in Honiara yesterday.

Campbell said at the outset that the most critical security challenge in the Pacific is ‘climate change’.

“And so everywhere we’ve gone, we’ve heard from leaders and citizen representatives, that to be relevant we have to address the issues that matter in the Pacific,” he said.

Campbell said the biggest security issues are the implications associated with climate change.

“And we saw it through a variety of programmes, both large investments in the United States but also with partners to limit carbon emissions to deal with programs that will hopefully assist with resilience and preparations in advance.

“So we’re committed to those and we are committed to working with the Solomons and other governments as we go forward,” he said.

Campbell said the larger mission of the United States is their continuing commitment to maintain peace and stability.

“Not just in the western Pacific but throughout the entire Pacific.

“We believe that role is important,” he said.

Russell Comeau, Chargé d’Affaires of Chargé d’Affaires, states in his Op-Ed that today, USAID runs numerous programmes providing support to the people of Solomon Islands across the country.

“For example, through USAID’s disaster preparedness programme, more than 2,500 Solomon Islanders in 20 at-risk communities are better prepared to respond in the event of a disaster with climate-smart agricultural practices and inclusive hazard risk reduction and disaster preparedness plans,” he added.

Apart from that, in the declaration of the U.S-Pacific Partnership reached on 29 September, 2022, they take the climate crisis as the highest priority of our partnership, for it remains the single greatest existential threat to the livelihoods, security, traditional and customary practices, and wellbeing of people in the Pacific region, including as reflected in the Boe Declaration on Regional Security.  

“We are united in our commitment to implement the Paris Agreement and we are committed to work together to advance progress at COP27 and beyond.

“We urge all countries – especially major emitters – whose 2030 nationally determined contributions targets are not yet aligned with the Paris temperature goal to increase their ambition and align such targets with a 1.5 °C pathway before COP27,” says the declaration.

Further to that, the declaration states: “We urge all developed countries to deliver on their commitment to the goal of mobilizing $100 billion annually through 2025 to support developing countries, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation.

“We urge all countries to reduce collective anthropogenic methane emissions at least 30 percent by 2030 from 2020 levels.”    

Also, the declaration states: “We recognize the importance of international collaboration and accelerated action especially within this decade on aviation and shipping emissions, to help put both sectors on a pathway aligned with keeping a 1.5 °C limit to temperature rise within reach.”  

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