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Prime Minister, James Marape says he will be seeking to progress a number of issues on behalf of Papua New Guinea and the wider Pacific Blue economy at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

COP26 will be held in the United Kingdom in November.

He said this when addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City on Friday (Saturday morning PNG time).

In a media release, PM Marape urged all countries to commit to the energy targets, deal with land use, and advocate for the preservation of biodiversity and be more bold in climate financing commitments.

“These issues are important to Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands Forum countries, and we will be seeking support and advocacy from developed and industrialized countries to back our domestic and regional efforts towards adaptation and mitigation through global funding assistance,” he said.

“I will be seeking an understanding to build a special set of criteria that is simplified to enable us to qualify for financial support for our adaptation and mitigation strategies.”

PM Marape called on the international community to collectively meet Paris Agreement obligations and submit individual Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) without delay.

“Papua New Guinea was among the first countries to submit our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) in 2020, outlining our goal to be carbon neutral by 2050,” he said.

“This plan includes the drafting of our NDCs implementation Plan, Regulations and Alignment of NDC Adaptation and National Adaptation Plan, thanks to the support of the United Nations Development Program.

“We want to see major carbon emitters in the industrialized nations to be genuine and committed in their actions to fund climate change mitigation and adaptations.

“A failure in that regard is a denial of that responsibility.”

PM Marape also advocated that the US$I00 billion annual commitment by developed countries to developing nations on climate financing must be considered different from Official Development Assistance.

“This will allow its guidelines to be sensitive to the climate change mitigation and adaptation agenda and their specific requirement,” he said.

“As a natural gas and oil exporter, Papua New Guinea is working towards ensuring our carbon footprint is minimized by implementing our Sustainable Development Goal 13 Roadmap 2020-2030 on Climate Change launched last year.

“However, despite multiple project submissions for climate financing, Papua New Guinea has had limited or no success in accessing these funds, except for technical assistance in developing the fiduciary framework.

“This is disappointing.

“We need to see a more practical demonstration of genuine commitments.”

PM Marape said other forms of assistance towards climate change adaptation and mitigation must also be streamlined to lessen the increasing debt burdens in Small Islands States to free up the required fiscal space to support economic recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve sustainable development.

He called on UN Member States to finalize a robust and fair Carbon Markets under the Paris Rulebook to unlock new financing streams that better account for the sustainable development interests of countries like mine.

PM Marape said PNG wants to achieve both conservation and development.

“In forestry, we have ceased issuance of new timber permits and renewal of existing ones and will achieve complete round log export ban by 2025,” he said.

“We want to move into value adding and downstream processing.

“We have adopted and designated a large conservation area in our Northern Province as a pilot program in partnership with a regional environmental program, which will give us the learning experience we need for further designations of conservation areas.

“We are also in the process of establishing a NDC Roadmap for Agriculture Forestry and Other Land Use (AFLOU) and Energy Sector.”


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