United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS)

10th OWG Sustainable Development Goals Cluster on Climate
by H.E. Mr Robert G. Aisi, Permanent Representative Papua New Guinea to the United Nations
on behalf of PSIDS
3 April 2014, New York
Check against Delivery
Distinguished Co-Chairs,
I have the honor to make this brief intervention on behalf of the Pacific Troika on the Open Working Group on SDGs, namely Nauru, Palau and my own country, Papua New Guinea.
Additionally, this Statement is also made on behalf of the other Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) represented at the United Nations; namely, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
We are a group of countries that are extremely vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, and whose future development is being significantly hindered by the already changing climate.
We align ourselves with the statement made by Nauru on behalf of AOSIS, and excepting those not members of G77 and China, the statement made by Bolivia on behalf of G77 and China.
Co-Chairs,
Climate change is an urgent threat to humans and the planet. The PSIDS are among those that contribute the least to global climate change, but are among those that both suffer the most and have the least capacity to adapt.
We remind our distinguished colleagues of para. 191 in the Rio+20 Outcome document, in which all countries, and I quote:
“…Note with grave concern the significant gap between the aggregate effect of mitigation pledges by parties in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emissions pathways consistent with holding the increase in global average temperate below 2C or 1.5 C about pre-industrial levels. “
Keeping temperature rise to below 1.5 C must be an underlying(?) principle of all of the Sustainable Development Goals. Any increase above that poses the most serious threat to our territorial integrity, viability and survival, and it undermines our efforts to achieve sustainable development. Sustainable development cannot occur in a world in which we are frequently spending resources to respond to catastrophic climate change impacts.
While we firmly maintain that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change, climate change remains an existential threat, affecting everyone and so many of the issues we’re trying to address. Climate change must, therefore, be treated in the SDGs and in the post 2015 development agenda as a cross cutting issue.
We are agreeable that climate change remain a cross-cutting issue and not be a separate goal among the SDGs. However, targets for climate change must continue to be considered comprehensively amongst the SDGs. Failing this, we fear that the approach to achieving goals on eradicating poverty and sustainable development will be ineffective.
In addition to the targets proposed by Nauru earlier, we would add two more:
• First, ensure the long-term survival of all SIDs confronting the adverse effects of human induced climate change.
• Second, address loss and damage experienced by developing countries disproportionately impacted by global greenhouse gas emissions, with appropriate international support

Finally, the PSIDS urge that concerted effort and time be invested into discussing how climate change could be treated as a cross cutting issue in all or the appropriate suggested goals.
I thank you.