President Christian Joins World Leaders to Push Forward with Climate Action at COP22

Press Release #1612-01

Palikir, Pohnpei FSM Information Services
December 07, 2016

Unfazed by the challenges of the multilateral negotiations, FSM President Peter M. Christian called on the world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco to maintain the momentum by “fighting the battles and climbing the mountains” to overcome such challenges in the continuing war to “save the planet and her people”.  In the presence of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, President Christian highlighted recent successes initiated and co-sponsored by FSM and Morocco which included the phase-down of HFCs in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol which would result in the reduction of 0.5 (half a percent) degree Celsius of global warming and the elimination of about 70 - 80 billion tons of greenhouse gas equivalent being emitted into the atmosphere.  Such successes must be celebrated but also followed by continued work to maintain and accelerate the momentum.

President Christian and a relatively small delegation attended the COP 22 from November 7-18, 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco. The President’s delegation joined the rest of the FSM’s technical team headed by Director Andrew Yatilman of the Office of Environment & Emergency Management at the height of the negotiations. Upon arrival President Christian was welcomed with a courtesy meeting with Morocco’s Minister of National Education and Vocational Training, Mr. RachidBelmokhtar Benabdellah.


At
the High Level Segment of the Conference, President Christian addressed the plenary session of world leaders and joined them in expressing their unwavering commitment to upholding and continuing the progress made thus far in addressing the effects of Climate Change.  Mindful of the fact that a new administration will be inaugurated soon in the United States, President Christian euphemistically stated, “Our work in progress must continue even against new odds and speculations that certain recent events in America may not aid our efforts on Climate Change. We must have faith that our cause is too JUST to be waylaid.” The atmosphere in the room was undoubtedly one of solidarity and strength as these sentiments were echoed throughout the plenary session.

It should be noted that work on issues relating to the COP22 is targeted to be completed by 2018. From the technical perspective, the FSM delegation felt more work could have been done on the substantive issues such as finance, loss and damage and the detailed mechanics of the Paris Agreement.  With the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement, it is important that COP22 sends a positive signal to the international community that work is progressing. The delicate balance of all issues achieved in Paris must be preserved especially, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This is the key to delivering enhanced action under the Paris Agreement.

Such are the challenges of a multilateral process tackling the real and present issues of Climate Change.  The FSM delegation recognizes these challenges.  On what lies ahead, FSM President Christian with determination and confidence stated that: “We know the way ahead. It is what it is. The climbing won’t be easy, but not impossible.  Let us continue to climb…One mountain at a time.”