Policy Demands to Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum

One Blue Pacific – Investing in a shared climate-resilient future founded on human dignity and well-being

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As Civil Society Organizations serving the most basic needs of Pacific Island people, often reaching to the most remote, vulnerable and marginalized communities in the region, we call upon the Pacific Island Leaders to take strong, decisive, ambitious, transformational and unified positions on the climate crisis, ensuring action-outcomes that are time-bound, measurable and reflect the severity of the human rights, economic and livelihood consequences of the climate crisis for the people of the Pacific and those around the world. 

We, collectively as the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network, made up of 139 member organizations from across the Blue Pacific, demand that PIF climate resolutions must go substantially further in 2020 than they have in the past, regardless of the ongoing and salient failures of several Forum members regarding climate inaction.  Critically, all resolutions we demand are firmly grounded in science and that will set the Pacific on a pathway towards a resilient future, characterized by environmental and human wellbeing.  

PICAN Policy Demands 

PIF leaders must, as a minimum, declare that: 

  1. The Pacific is facing a climate crisis
  2. Climate change remains the single greatest threat to the Blue Pacific, exacerbating, compounding and amplifying all other development challenges
  3. There will be just recovery in addressing the dual crises of climate change and COVID19
  4. Fundamental human rights and wellbeing of present and future generations of Pacific Island people are being undermined by climate change
  5. Loss and Damage stemming from climate change, including the economic and non-economic costs, have overwhelmed the capacity of Pacific nations to fully function as sovereign nations
  6. The Pacific fully stands behind climate science, and unequivocally welcomes, acknowledges and will utilize for policy-making, the findings of the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL), and Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, specifically acknowledging that
    • climate change is caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, already leading to global heating of more than 1 degree Celsius, manifested as increased and intensifying tropical cyclones, floods, rising seas, diseases, droughts, and extreme weather.
    • restoring a safe and stable climate requires net-zero emissions as soon as possible, and well before 2050 
  7. CSOs and NGOs will be fully and comprehensively included in the development and refinement of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent to achieve a resilient future that is people-focused

Pacific CSOs demand action to address the climate crisis through justice and equity for current and future generations. 

PIF leaders must, as a minimum, decide that there will be ambitious action taken on:

1. A Just Recovery from COVID-19

The COVID-19 global pandemic, like the climate crisis, knows no borders and is exacerbating inequalities from a broken economic system in which profit is tantamount, it accumulates in a few hands and the majority are left struggling to achieve a decent quality of life.

As decision-makers take steps to ensure immediate relief and long term recovery, it is imperative that they consider the inter-related crises of wealth inequality, racism, and ecological decline – notably the climate crisis, which were in place long before COVID-19, and now risk being intensified. Responses at all levels must:

    • Put people’s health first, no exceptions.
    • Provide economic relief directly to the people.
    • Help our workers and communities, not corporate executives.
    • Create resilience for future crises.
    • Build solidarity and community across borders – do not empower authoritarians.
2. Climate Finance  

Pacific leaders will collectively negotiate for a new collective quantified global climate finance goal from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, and be constituted by public finance. Leaders will ensure that these resources must flow directly to highly vulnerable countries (and especially to Pacific Island nations), including through CSOs and NGOs.

Pacific leaders to call for a commitment to transforming the public and private financial system, at the domestic level and globally by 2030, ensuring that financial flows are compatible and in line with a 1.5-degree pathway, climate-resilient development, and just recovery efforts, which includes ceasing financing of fossil fuel projects and investing in 100% renewable energy projects. 

3. International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion 

Pacific Leaders must resolve to pursue a UN General Assembly Resolution seeking an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the obligations of States under international law to protect the rights of current and future generations from the adverse effects of climate change and will join Civil Society Organizations in working through diplomatic and other channels to ensure international support for the resolution.

4. Mitigation 

Pacific nations will collectively demand the immediate phase-out of all fossil fuel subsidies domestically and internationally, including a resolution covering PIF members.

Pacific nations will collectively demand that financial Institutions fully divest from fossil fuel interests, including a resolution covering PIF members.

5. Loss and Damage 

Along with a commitment to a safe and just transition away from fossil fuels, Pacific leaders must call for financial support and compensation for the most vulnerable who are already experiencing loss and damage.

6. Gender and Human Rights

There must be adequate intersectional and interlinked responses nationally, and regionally, from all stakeholders and formal justice sectors, to address all forms of gender-based violence against women, LGBTQI people and other intersectionally marginalized people such as women with disabilities, sex workers, women frontline care workers, domestic care workers, and others in precarious work, including during the COVID19 pandemic.

7. Pacific Youth

Pacific leaders resolve to support CSOs to launch the 2020 Pacific Youth Declaration on Climate Change during the PIFS Leaders Meeting.

8. Food Security

The impacts of climate change on food security are no longer imminent but have become a reality. Pacific leaders must continue to work towards building resilience in key sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, and forestry to help protect food security in a time of multiple crises and risks.

Pacific CSOs demand action at the UNFCCC 

Delayed to November 2021, at the twenty-sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),

PIF leaders must, as a minimum, decide that: 

  1. Pacific nations will collectively cut their gross greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
  2. Having revised and implemented Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2020, Pacific nations will ensure that successive NDCs will represent a substantial progression compared to the previous NDC, which reflects the highest levels of ambition to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
  3. Pacific nations will demand that Parties to the Paris Agreement welcome and utilize in decision-making the findings of the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, Special Report on Climate Change, and Land (SRCCL), and Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. 
  4. That the Financial Mechanism must channel more funds to developing country Parties for climate action.
  5. Paragraph 51 of Decision 1/CP.21, ‘Adoption of the Paris Agreement’, is immoral, and allows developed countries and major polluters to avoid their responsibility, putting the burden of climate loss and damages directly on the poorest, most vulnerable and least responsible for the climate crisis.
  6. Paragraph 51 does not apply to any new or additional texts or sections of the Paris Agreement or UNFCCC.
  7. The Warsaw International Mechanism serves both the UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties (COP) and the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA).
  8. The Santiago Network, a dedicated Loss and Damage Finance and Implementation Facility, will be fully operationalized in 2021, to facilitate and enable action and support to the most vulnerable here in the Blue Pacific.
  9. Article 6 and its Carbon Market rules will be based on environmental integrity, deliver an overall mitigation in global emissions, not accepting of any Carryover credits from the Kyoto Protocol, including from PIF members.
  10. Pacific nations will strive to be unified as a block during multilateral environmental negotiations, including at the UNFCCC to achieve more ambitious outcomes.
  11. Pacific delegations to UNFCCC shall include representatives from CSOs and NGOs, as well as academia, youth, private sector agencies, and others to ensure inclusivity and maximum capacity to achieve national outcomes.

Add your name

If you support the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network’s policy demands, please sign and share.

This is a time to be decisive in saving lives and bold in charting a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a just recovery.

Once you sign up, we will keep you updated on ways to keep supporting and upholding these ambitious actions yourself, where you live.

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