Call for action on 1.5 degrees target

Special Representative of Ocean Pathway COP23 Taholo Kami.

MANY of us who get stuck in traffic every morning often ask the question of where we are headed with our transportation problems — is it going to get any better or is it going to get worse.

These were sentiments echoed by Special Representative of Ocean Pathway COP23 Taholo Kami at the Pacific Islands Transport Expo and Forum press conference held at the University of the South Pacific Research Office conference room yesterday.

Mr Kami says the recent scientific report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that if we in the Pacific do not take action in the next 10-12 years to reduce global warming to 1.5 degrees, the consequences would be quite devastating.

“One of the consequences that affected us is Tropical Cyclone Winston and its impacts with the very real possibility that we lost up to 70 per cent of our coral reefs,” Mr Kami said.

“The scenario we are on now is that we are heading to 3 degrees quite quickly and so there is an urgent need for us to highlight this and take action in order to reach the 2030 and 2050 targets.”

He said his main interest during the forum would be on the maritime transport sector, but he would also need some clarity on land transport and the aviation sector if we were going to get transportation in line in terms of the use of fossil fuel.

“There are different experiences right through the Pacific Islands on everything, to the right kind of ferries with domestic shipping and the right kind of vehicles that we use for land transportation.

“We hear a lot of good stories filled with a lot of ambition worldwide with especially Marshall Islands and Fiji announcing a zero emission economy by 2050.”

Mr Kami said if we looked at what was happening out on the street and compare with what we needed to do by 2030 and 2050, we would realise that this called for an action that we had never seen before in terms of the kind of partnerships, funding and leadership that was required in the Pacific to make this kind of transformation happen.

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