United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS)

Pacific Troika Intervention by Mr Fred Sarufa, Counsellor, Papua New Guinea Permanent Mission to the United Nations on Focus Area 12 on Climate Change to the Eleventh Session of the OWG on SDGs, 8 May 2014, New York

“Check against delivery”


My intervention will be confined to Focus Area 12 on climate change and I am speaking on behalf of the 12 Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) represented at the UN, namely, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and my own country Papua New Guinea.

We acknowledge the statement on Focus Area 12 made by Bolivia as Chair of G77 and China .


We further underscore that climate change is and will remain in the years to come the single gravest threat to humanity's sustainable livelihood, wellbeing, viability, security, and poses an existential threat to the sovereignty of many of our SIDS.

The many meritorious rationale on climate change we have collectively provided in this process over the past year warrants serious consideration for its elevation to a dedicated universal sustainable development goal. This, we fully embrace. We also see the merit in having climate change issues addressed across the other focus areas, where appropriate.

We are pleased that the revised Working Document rightly recognizes the seriousness of this concern as an affront to the success of any future set of global sustainable development goals we adopt.

We therefore welcome and support the proposed title and targets identified in "a" to "e" as a commendable rallying point.


In our view, the suggested chapeau; "Take urgent and significant action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Build a climate change goal based on the outcome of COP21 of the UNFCCC"; is most thoughtful.

Given that a SDG on climate change should not prejudge or even contradict the outcome of the Paris COP21, the tile therefore aptly stresses the importance of a legally binding agreement under the UNFCCC process whilst also highlighting the significance and urgency to address climate change as a development issue and the necessary actions needed to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

On target "a", we suggest that rather than below x degrees Celsius, this should be below 1.5 - 2 degrees Celsius, consistent with the internationally agreed language in the UNFCCC process.

In target "c", we seek an amendment and suggest the following language; "integrate climate adaptation and emissions reductions into all sectors of the economy and low-carbon development plans and poverty reduction strategies."

For target "d", we propose the following revision. "Introduce appropriate instruments and incentives to eliminate investment in fossil fuels while increasing investments in low-carbon-solutions in infrastructure, industry, agriculture, transport, energy, and all economic sectors."

Finally, we would further strengthen target "e" by amending it to read as follows; "Improve human and institutional capacity building to address climate change through education, training and awareness for climate change impact reduction."

In the context of the Means of Implementation for a climate change goal, we would suggest that the various tools/mechanisms provided under the UNFCCC framework could potentially serve this purpose.

Thank you.