Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has called on industrialized nations to contribute more towards reduction of carbon emissions and the conservation of existing rainforest, including that of Papua New Guinea.
Mr Marape met with the Honourable Alok Sharma, the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 26 President Designate of the United Kingdom, and discussed the COP26 Climate Change Agenda.
“ My intention is to ask industrialized nations to do more and to work together with communities affected by deforestation and climate change to find a viable and sustainable way forward to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), as well as the Paris Accord without compromising the development aspirations of developing country, especially the smaller Island States.
“Papua New Guinea has experienced the impacts of climate change and it is exceptional for us to further discuss more on the issue.
“Papua New Guinea has a huge landmass and we also have close to 600 outlying islands that are being affected by sea level rising and sallination as a direct result of climate change and also, we were the first country in the world to relocate climate change refugees from the Catarat Islands and that is the reason why we will always be vocal on the issue of climate change.”
He added, “the relocation of the Kiribati citizens because of the effect of the climate change , while some people chose to stay on some of the sinking islands, indicated that smaller Island States in the Pacific do not emit a lot of carbon into the atmosphere and yet they are paying the price.”
Prime Minister Marape emphasised that since the Kyoto Agreement and now the Paris Accord, “industrialized countries have never tried to push hard to implement the agendas agreed to in the agreements and so instead of them reducing carbon emissions, they should invest money in technology that will reclaim land that is being lost to the sea.”
“Papua New Guinea has one of the last standing rainforests in the world and our rainforest is the oxygen factory of the world, therefore, it is a global asset and in order to conserve it, a collaboration effort is needed to find a balance that will preserve the rainforest while improving livelihood,” Mr Marape said.
Data taken from the Global Forest Watch Forest Monitoring program has revealed that 36 percent of the Earth’s 14.6 million square kilometres of tropical rainforests remain intact. The balance of 64 percent is either degraded or completely gone.