COP 28 | More action, ambition and urgency, says Puna

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Pacific Islands Forum secretary general Henry Puna. Picture PIFS

MORE action, more ambition and more urgency for an outcome that gets the world back on track.

This was the message from Pacific Islands Forum secretary general Henry Puna on behalf of vulnerable island states to world leaders gathered for COP 28 in the United Arab Emirates this week.

A PIF press statement said the 28th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) global climate negotiations was drawing record crowds, in excess of 60,000.

And a big feature was the increased number of youth voices to help amplify the Pacific urgency and future-facing focus for climate ambition, climate action and climate justice and a notable inclusion was PIF 2023 Climate Youth Champion Metoyer Lohia of Papua New Guinea.

“Our young leaders of today are going to be leading the Pacific at 2050, so our approach today must take our youth from the spaces where decisions are being made, to where actions are being taken,” Mr Puna said.

COP 28 will also see an increase in Pacific High Level Political champions heading to special sessions and side events, eager to ensure traction on a range of issues including the first global stock take on implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The eight Political Climate Champions of the Pacific are: Oceans and climate nexus – Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, Global Stock take – Cook Islands PM and Forum chair Mark Brown, Climate Finance – Tongan PM Huákavameiliku, Loss and Damage – Vanuatu Minister of Climate Change Ralph Regenvanu, Just Transition – Tuvalu Minister of Finance and Climate Change Seve Paeniu, Mitigation – Samoan Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Toesulusulu Cedric Schuster, Adaptation – RMI Minister of Natural Resources and Commerce John Silk, and Gender and Social Inclusion – Niue Minister of Natural Resources Mona Ainu’u.