King Tupou VI’s Royal Plea: Urgent Climate Action Needed for Pacific Nations at COP28
His Majesty King Tupou VI during his delivered the National Statement of Tonga on the occasion of the 28th Session of the conference of the Parties (COP28)
Dubai, 1st December, 2023- His Majesty King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga has delivered a compelling statement at the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). His Majesty expressed his gratitude to the United Arab Emirates for hosting this critical event and acknowledged the dedicated efforts of the UNFCCC Secretariat.
Expressing concern over the slow progress on the Paris Agreement, King Tupou VI emphasized the severe impacts of climate change and disasters on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). More than 50,000 Pacific people are displaced annually due to climate and disaster-related events, prompting the need for urgent action.
During the recent 52nd Pacific Islands Forum, leaders endorsed the Pacific Partnership for Prosperity (PPfP), a political prioritization process aimed at mobilizing resources for national and regional development. King Tupou VI urged all partners to collaborate in implementing the PPfP to address the pressing challenges faced by SIDS.
To meet the unique needs of the Pacific, King Tupou VI called for the creation of a Pacific-led community resilience financing facility. While acknowledging the commitments of Australia and New Zealand, he urged all partners to contribute to funding the establishment of a Pacific Resilience Facility.
Highlighting the significance of the ocean to Pacific nations, King Tupou VI noted that the themes outlined by the UAE at COP28 align with the major challenges faced by Tonga and SIDS. These challenges include technology and innovation, inclusion, support for frontline communities, and financial assistance.
The 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, championed by Tonga and Palau, aims for a blue technological revolution with innovation at its core. The focus is on developing and deploying SIDS-appropriate technologies, such as ocean energy technologies, to enhance climate resilience.
King Tupou VI urged a collective effort to prioritize “nature, people, lives, and livelihoods” at the heart of climate action. Emphasizing the urgency of the matter, he called for a united commitment to making significant progress in addressing climate challenges.
This statement underscores the gravity of the situation faced by the Kingdom of Tonga and SIDS, urging global collaboration for effective climate action.