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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


New York, 26th February, 2007
Tuvalu Comments
at the Plenary of the Commission of Sustainable Development 15
Delivered by H.E. Mr Afelee F Pita Ambassador and Permanent
Representative to the United Nations
New York, 26th February 2007.
Mr Chairman
Tuvalu fully associates itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished
Permanent Representative of Cape Verde to the United Nations on behalf of
the Alliance of Small Islands States, and also that delivered by the
distinguished Permanent Representative of Papua New Guinea on behalf of
the Pacific Island Countries.
Mr Chairman, we talked a lot in CSD14. In our view CSD15 must harvest
these talks into practical and meaningful decisions that are doable to address
the unique case of small island developing States. In this case we have to be
strategic, and focus on what the CSD process can do in implementing the
JPOI and the MSI on the thematic clusters for this session.
We welcome the SG?s report highlighting in particular the inter-linkages
between the thematic clusters for CSD15. Particularly in view of our ?special
case? and unique vulnerabilities, addressing them in a timely, sustained and
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coordinated manner will create huge opportunities for the sustainable
development and long term security of SIDS.
On the issue of energy for sustainable development, Tuvalu strongly feels this
CSD must focus on policies enhancing energy efficiency and conservation,
and accelerating the use of renewable energy sources. For Tuvalu and many
SIDS/LDCs the drain on our meager foreign exchange resources to import
and transport petroleum is a serious challenge, which must be addressed
urgently. Any saving on energy costs can go a long way in availing resources
to build local capacity including adaptation to climate change impacts. We
are also keen to see more use of renewable energy as a means of addressing
climate change.
Mr Chairman
It is now proven that climate change is unavoidable, and is happening not in
the future but now. Since the CSD14, important economic and scientific
reports have presented a very disturbing picture for the world, particularly the
SIDS because of climate change. Empirically in SIDS, the damages and the
threat of further destruction have already led to the relocation of economic
activities and communities.
Mr Chairman, the message from these two reports and what is already being
experienced in SIDS is clear, and that is, that failure of the international
community to address climate change now will lead to total catastrophe for
the whole world, but especially for those who are particularly vulnerable such
as the Small Island Developing States. Clearly, the urgency for a truly global
leadership and collective response against climate change has never been so
real and so urgent.
As is well known, the AOSIS/SIDS remain keen to see real progress on a
number of key issues to address climate change, and we urge the CSD15 to
contribute meaningfully to climate change. Chief amongst these are the issues
of adaptation, capacity building, financing and in general, the effectiveness
and credibility of achieving our global objectives against climate change
under the CSD and UNFCCC processes.
I should also stress the urgent need to develop sources for adequate funding
both for immediate and long term adaptation needs, particularly in the light of
forecasted costs of adaptation which is in the region of $37 billion per year.
Given their particular vulnerability and difficulty in accessing international
funding, it is our view that an insurance funding facility for SIDS such as a
SIDS Climate Change Trust Fund to recoup costs due to climate change is
urgently needed.
Mr Chairman, out of necessity, SIDS are already in fact taking strides on
adaptation: integrating these in national strategies and plans, public
awareness, and schools programmes. But they need financial and technical
support to cope with these high additionality costs which are now imposed on
them by climate change, and which should be guided by the Rio principles
and obligations.
Furthermore, Tuvalu believes that additional resources within the GEF?s own
climate change focal area should be directed to support adaptation activities,
including pilot projects in particularly vulnerable sectors, regions and
communities such as foreshores, freshwater and food security ? through an
expanded GEF allocation in the fourth replenishment period.
SIDS have also been seeking for the consideration of appropriate insurance
arrangements to help SIDS in meeting the high costs of the adverse impacts of
climate change. We appeal again that serious considerations be given to this
suggestion as an outcome of this session.
Mr. Chairman, adaptation alone is not enough. The failure of countries, to
reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions means that the vulnerability of
SIDS will continue to increase and that adaptation to the adverse effects of
climate change must continue to be a major priority for SIDS. We call on
States that have not done so, to ratify and fully implement the Kyoto Protocol,
and for all States to take further urgent action to reduce domestic greenhouse
gas emissions, including through the development and increased use of
renewable energy.
We support the need to establish new measures to advance a global approach
to addressing climate change including new arrangements under the Kyoto
Protocol to broaden its scope and coverage and further actions under the
UNFCCC but without undermining its architecture. AOSIS/SIDS will be keen
to collaborate with partners to advance this debate. We believe, though, the
development and use of renewable energy and energy efficiency is critical in
our global efforts. We also believe a global fund on renewable energy with a
special window for SIDS will go along way in ensuring the sustainable
development, resilience building and existence of SIDS.
Thank you.