Six Pacific islands ratify the Paris Climate Accord

The Pacific islands, amongst the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, have displayed global leadership this weekend when the Paris Agreement opened for signing on 22 April. Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa and Tuvalu were six of the 15 overall countries that submitted their ratification during the special signing ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
“We congratulate and commend our member countries for their leadership in not only signing but also taking that extra crucial step to ratify the Agreement, helping to ensure it will come into force,” said Mr. Kosi Latu, Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
“We are committed to work with CROP agencies, our member countries and partners to help our region address climate change, the biggest threat to island survival.”
The Paris Agreement has far exceeded the historical record for first-day signatures to an international agreement. Overall there were 175 parties that signed the Paris Agreement, for which 12 out of 14 Pacific islands put pen to paper in signing the agreement signifying commitment.
“The signing of this agreement comes at a critical time for Pacific nations, and the Pacific Community will maintain unerring commitment to work with other CROP agencies and the region’s countries and territories to maintain the momentum for collective action,” the Pacific Community Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said.
The Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, The Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu were the Pacific islands that signed once it was open for signature in New York.
“Only by working together can we address the most serious issues brought upon us by the effects of climate change. The CROP agencies will continue to work together, The Pacific will continue to work together, and the World must continue to work together, to save our vulnerable brothers and sisters, and future generations,” said Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
The Pacific islands contribute to less than 0.03 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions but are amongst the most vulnerable to its effects. The island region is also amongst the first to feel the impacts of climate change.
The Paris Agreement endorsed during the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France, marked a watershed moment in taking action on climate change. After years of negotiation, countries agreed to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts

Add a comment

FSM President Christian signs on to the Paris Agreement at United Nations


FSM Information Services
April 22, 2016
New York—On Friday April 22, 2016, President Peter M. Christian participated in the High-level Signature Ceremony for the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. During the Ceremony, President Christian joined representatives from 174 other countries in signing the Agreement, marking the largest number of countries ever to sign an international instrument in a single day. The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted the Agreement in Paris last December. The Agreement is the first universally applicable international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Agreement commits all of its Parties to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Agreement also provides for enhancing the ability of all countries—particularly developing countries—to deal with the impacts of climate change, including loss and damage. To achieve these goals, the Agreement provides for climate financing, a new technology framework to support research and development in climate technology, a new capacity building framework to enhance the capability of developing countries to take effective climate change action, and a robust transparency framework to ensure that Parties properly and fully account for the actions they take under the Agreement. The Agreement will enter into force after at least 55 Parties representing at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions ratify the Agreement.
After the signing, President Christian delivered a statement that noted the historic milestone achieved by the international community with the adoption of the Agreement in Paris last year, while underscoring that the true test of the success of the Agreement lies in its implementation, particularly at the domestic level. President Christian called on all Parties to the Agreement to continuously update our emission reduction targets in order to "achieve nationally beyond what we talk about internationally." President Christian committed the FSM to take concrete actions in furtherance of its targets, including continuing the FSM's leadership role in advocating for the phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol. HFCs are greenhouse gases that are several orders of magnitude more potent than carbon dioxide, and whose phase-out will greatly aid in the fight against climate change.
President Christian concluded his statement with a plea to the international community to live up to pledges made in connection with the Agreement. Calling for international solidarity, President Christian expressed his hope that ours is "the generation of world leaders that not only talked about climate change, but walked the deck of a sinking ship to find and plug the holes to save our ship."
Prior to participating in the High-level Signature Ceremony, President Christian visited the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site in downtown Manhattan, where he laid a wreath in remembrance of the victims of the September 11 attacks.
President Christian was accompanied to the High-level Signature Ceremony for the Paris Agreement and to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum by First Lady Maurina Christian, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin S. Robert, Secretary of Justice Joses Gallen, Governor of Chuuk State Johnson Elimo, President Christian's Chief of Staff Leo Falcam, Jr., Ambassador Jane J. Chigiyal, and members of the staff of the Permanent Mission of the Federated States of Micronesia to the United Nations.

Add a comment

2015 The Warmest Year on Record


Global Temperatures

The State of the Climate November 2015 report noted that in order for 2015 to not become the warmest year in the 136-year period of record, the December global temperature would have to be at least 0.81°C (1.46°F) below the 20th century average—or 0.24°C (0.43°F) colder than the current record low December temperature of 1916. In fact, December 2015 was the warmest month of any month in the period of record, at 1.11°C (2.00°F) higher than the monthly average, breaking the previous all-time record set just two months ago in October 2015 by 0.12°C (0.21°F). This is the first time in the NOAA record that a monthly temperature departure from average exceeded 1°C or reached 2°F and the second widest margin by which an all-time monthly global temperature record has been broken. (February 1998 broke the previous record of March 1990 by 0.13°C / 0.23°F.)
With the contribution of such record warmth at year's end and with 10 months of the year record warm for their respective months, including the last 8 (January was second warmest for January and April was third warmest), the average global temperature across land and ocean surface areas for 2015 was 0.90°C (1.62°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F), beating the previous record warmth of 2014 by 0.16°C (0.29°F). This is not only the highest calendar year temperature, but also the highest temperature for any 12-month period on record. The global temperatures in 2015 were strongly influenced by strong El Niño conditions that developed during the year.
The 2015 temperature also marks the largest margin by which an annual temperature record has been broken. Prior to this year, the largest margin occurred in 1998, when the annual temperature surpassed the record set in 1997 by 0.12°C (0.22°F). Incidentally, 1997 and 1998 were the last years in which a similarly strong El Niño was occurring. The annual temperature anomalies for 1997 and 1998 were 0.51°C (0.92°F) and 0.63°C (1.13°F), respectively, above the 20th century average, both well below the 2015 temperature departure.

This marks the fourth time in the 21st century a new record high annual temperature has been set (along with 2005, 2010, and 2014) and also marks the 39th consecutive year (since 1977) that the annual temperature has been above the 20th century average. To date, including 2015, 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have occurred during the 21st century. 1998 is currently tied with 2009 as the sixth warmest year on record.
Overall, the global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.07°C (0.13°F) per decade since 1880 and at an average rate of 0.17°C (0.31°F) per decade since 1970.

Add a comment

Video: Vanishing Islands

The Federated States of Micronesia in the Pacific has 30,000 citizens living on atolls that are vanishing due to sea level rise from climate change.

Today they have drinking water shortages and food security is in peril.

Sea level rise is a 50-year challenge confronting all Islands and is committed to finding solutions for all our Island clients.

Add a comment

President Christian Addresses Climate Change, Peace and Security in the UN General Assembly

FSM Information Services
October 5, 2015
New York, October 1, 2015 President Peter Christian addressed the 70th United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly emphasizing the impacts of climate change and the need for cohesive action to save the low lying Pacific Islands, including the Federated States of Micronesia. "We must become more cohesive in our actions to bring a useful conclusion to help mitigate the threat of sinking islands and prevent the potential genocide of Oceanic peoples and cultures," he declared. He noted FSM's dedicated contribution to international efforts in saving the world through the Micronesia Challenge initiative and continued commitment to phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.
Mr. Christian voiced hope that the upcoming international climate change conference in Paris in December, would resolve the disagreements over allowable emissions of greenhouse gasses by industrial nations.
On the issue of peace and security, President Christian demanded the United Nations and the International Community to undertake all efforts to make this world a peaceful place for all. He noted that in the 20th century, FSM experienced decades of armed conflicts; conflicts in which FSM had no interest to take part in, but was brought to the Micronesian Islands by powerful countries seeking political expansion and influence.
President Christian urged nations who once stood against each other in conflicts to stand together with FSM today, and to forgive, for a peaceful tomorrow. "Together let us promote friendship, partnership, and cooperation as our collective strength for the future."
The President diverted the attention of the United Nations to common enemies facing the international community today. "We have enough common enemies today, enemies that have no respect for culture, boundaries, religion, or social status, climate change, sea level rise, poverty, hunger and famine, illiteracy and incurable diseases, genocide and human trafficking, economic imbalance and apathy. These are our challenges of today."
The President concluded his statement by calling on the international community in the United Nations to divert its energy and anger for things past and focus on the common enemies of today. He urged all Nations to unite strongly and take actions to overcome these common issues in order to create a better world for all mankind today and tomorrow.
The copy of the President's entire speech can be downloaded from:

Add a comment

February global temperature anomaly sets new record for the globe

December-February also breaks existing temperature records

global temp anomaly feb 2016

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for February 2016 was the highest for February in the 137-year period of record, at 1.21°C (2.18°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.9°F). This not only was the highest for February in the 1880–2016 record—surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.33°C / 0.59°F—but it surpassed the all-time monthly record set just two months ago in December 2015 by 0.09°C (0.16°F). Overall, the six highest monthly temperature departures in the record have all occurred in the past six months. February 2016 also marks the 10th consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken.
The average global temperature across land surfaces was 2.31°C (4.16°F) above the 20th century average of 3.2°C (37.8°F), the highest February temperature on record, surpassing the previous records set in 1998 and 2015 by 0.63°C (1.13°F) and surpassing the all-time single-month record set in March 2008 by 0.43°C (0.77°F).

Add a comment

Fisheries management efforts in the face of climate change in Pohnpei, Micronesia

By: Jorg Anson
Marine and Environmental Research Institute of Pohnpei - 10 OCT 2015
The need to implement effective management measures for Pohnpei's inshore fisheries continue to grow as recent results of biological and socioeconomic research findings become available in Pohnpei and throughout the Micronesia region. Despite implementation of new laws, and regulations such as fish size limits for ten species of reef fish, extended seasonal bans on groupers, gear-type restrictions, and a push for a moratorium on the bump-head parrotfish (Kemeik) and the Napoleon wrasse (Merer), Pohnpei's inshore fisheries continue to decline. Primary reasons for this appear to be poor enforcement and lack of awareness within our fishing communities. The need to find sustainable alternatives for fishing and sakau farming are also continuously being raised at the community level. Recent studies show continued decrease in fish sizes in the markets and the time it takes fishermen to catch these fish is growing, both signs of declining fisheries. Marine Protected Areas in Pohnpei that do not have community support continue to be overfished due to poor support from enforcement agencies. In addition, the slow but inevitable effects of climate change, this year's El Nińo, and poor land management practices are putting increasing pressure on our fisheries.

Add a comment