Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has commended United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for his concern about climate change and the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26) to be held in the United Kingdom in November this year.
He made these remarks in a virtual Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting with Mr Guterres on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City today (Thursday September 23).
Mr Guterres said he was concerned about climate change in the Pacific and other parts of the world, and the success of COP-26, given that not all industrialised nations had yet given their political support.
Prime Minister Marape welcomed Guterres’ concern about climate change and COP-26, adding, he will speak on this very subject, when he presents Papua New Guinea’s Country Statement to the UNGA tomorrow (Friday September 24).
“Climate change is a subject close to the hearts of all Pacific Island countries as it is wreaking havoc on us.
“I welcome Secretary-General Guterres’ concern about climate change and COP-26, which are issues that greatly concern Pacific Island nations, including PNG.
“This is more so because these are the very issues that I will address in my Country Statement to the UNGA tomorrow.”
Mr Marape said Secretary-General Guterres’ statement today demonstrated his concern about the very-vulnerable Pacific Island countries affected by climate change, especially in the lead-up to COP26.
“The Pacific Ocean, or the Blue Pacific Continent, is home to marine and terrestrial biodiversity and is where the most-vulnerable small island states are being exposed to global threats of rise in sea level due to climate change, and the health and the economic woes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is time the big carbon emitters of planet earth own up and apologise to the small island states and all other victims of climate change.”
Mr Marape will elaborate more on this in his Country Statement to the UNGA on Friday.