12 Feb 2020

New hub to help Pacific countries meet climate commitments

4:35 pm on 12 February 2020

An initiative to help Pacific countries meet their global climate commitments has opened its headquarters in Fiji.

The regional Nationally Determined Contributions Hub, originally conceived in 2017, has become central to the region's efforts to lead the world in curbing carbon emissions and building climate resilience.

It supports 15 Pacific countries and is administered by the German development agency GIZ in partnership with the Pacific Community, which hosts the facility, the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and the Global Green Growth Institute.

The Hub's project manager Friederike Eppen said many Pacific countries had made bold commitments to reduce their carbon emissions and their job was to try and advance those ambitions.

Carbon emissions have not yet peaked in many countries the report says.

Photo: AFP

"For example, Marshall Islands has announced [it wants] to be net zero by 2050 and they have the biggest contribution of greenhouse gas emissions in the energy and power sector in the carbon sea transport sector so we are supporting them with drawing up some strategies."

Ms Eppen said most Pacific countries had small governments and did not have the capacity that larger industrialised nations had to respond in a timely manner to commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

"We would like to bring the voice out that the Pacific Islands countries are climate leaders internationally and that means they also have to be able to report in a timely manner on the UNFCCC processes," Ms Eppen said.

An aerial view of the downtown area of Majuro Atoll, the capital of the Marshall Islands, which has been hard hit by a dengue outbreak.

An aerial view of the downtown area of Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands. Photo: Marshall Islands Journal