GOVERNMENT OF TONGA

MEDIA RELEASE

(21 July 2015)

“Prime Minister Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva signs the Taputapuātea Declaration on Climate Change in Tahiti.”

Hon. Prime Minister Pohiva, together with leaders from six members of the Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG) from French Polynesia, Niue, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu signed the Taputapuātea Declaration, a joint statement on climate change, on Thursday 16th July 2015.

The signing of the Taputapuātea Declaration on Climate Change was the outcome of a two-day meeting of the PLG that took place in Tahiti from the 15th – 16th of July 2015. The Polynesian Leaders had discussed the cross cutting issues of climate change with passion, candidness, and urgency.

The joint declaration is part of the PLG’s preparation for the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) to be held in December 2015 in Paris. The PLG want the voice and suffering of Polynesians to be heard and felt by the international community at the COP21 in Paris and beyond. They want the international community to be extremely serious and act urgently in addressing vulnerabilities of island communities to climate change.

The joint declaration on climate change covers six key objectives of which one is highlighted below wherein it urges the international communities to recognize and accept specific vulnerabilities of Polynesians to climate change as referred to in the SAMOA Pathway, outcome document of the Third International Conference on SIDS in Apia Samoa 2014. The PLG will, therefore, seek to raise the following crucial points regarding vulnerabilities at COP21 in Paris:

• Limit global warming to below 1.5ͦ C by year 2100;
• Oceania to access available sources of funding such as the Green Climate Fund to address capacity building and technology transfer relating to climate change and its adverse impacts; and,
• Recognize that loss and damage is a critical element for building resistance against climate change.
The PLG will be responsible for bringing the Taputapuatea Declaration on Climate Change to the 2015 Pacific Island Forum Leaders’ Summit, the 26th Conference of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, the 9th Ministerial Conference of the Pacific Community, the 4th France-Oceania Summit, and to the 21st meeting of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Hon. Prime Minister Pohiva returned safely to Tonga from Tahiti today.

 

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ENDS

Issued by the:The Prime Minister’s Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Tel: (676) 24 644 Fax: (676) 23 888; For media enquiries- Email: pressoffice@pmo.gov.to

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