23 Sep 2022

Micronesia leader pleads with US, China to work to save the planet

10:20 pm on 23 September 2022
Micronesian President David Panuelo addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York.

Micronesian President David Panuelo addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York. Photo: YUKI IWAMURA

The President of the Federated States of Micronesia has told the United Nations the US and China need to resume communication for the sake of climate change.

David Panuelo said America and China are the two superpowers in the world and therefore have the biggest say on target emissions.

He told the United Nations General Assembly in New York the two countries need to work together.

"Micronesia cannot understand why partners and friends cannot get along on this issue of total international importance.

"I have urged the United States of America and People's Republic of China to consider climate change as a non-political and a non-competitive issue to solve the climate change crisis.

"So, President Xi and President Biden, both of you are friends of Micronesia, I respect both of your people and countries.

"As the two superpowers in this world, you set the tone and cadence for global conversations. It is my wish that you can respect each other.

"It ultimately requires both of these superpowers to work together.

"But one way to get attention and action is to explicitly call out your closest friends and allies by name instead of talking without substance.

"Current efforts to mitigate gas emmissions remain wholly inadequate.

"Microneasia urges all countries to commit to the Kikali amendment and the global methane pledge to see a 30% reduction of methane emissions by 2030."

Marape says PNG sidelined

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, told the Assembly his country has been sidelined from climate talks.

Marape emphasised climate change should be at the top of humanity's prorities.

He also said Papua New Guinea's rainforest absorbs more carbon than the country emits, and it is one of the few carbon positive countries in the world.

The Prime Minister told the UN the country is getting the raw end of the deal despite meeting Paris Agreement targets.

"It is rather disheartening to note that despite our proactive national efforts to implement our Paris agreement commitment.

"We seem to be getting the raw end of the deal all the time. We have done our part, including our submissions to the green planet fund. We have not lost all hope, despite being forgotten in the Glasgow conversations (at COP26 in 2021).

Kiribati affected by 'self interest'

The President of Kiribati Taneti Maamau told the UN Assembly his country is continuously hit by self-interested policies, undermining the true need of its people.

Maamau said Kiribati's developmental agenda derives from its culture, values and norms.

He told the Assembly the country is continuously ravaged by damaging neo-colonial policies.

"A system of global thinking that remains steeped with legacies of environmental destruction which our people have now inherited. As is the case of the mining of Banaba island. We must ensure that solutions and actions and work hand in hand for today's interlocking challenges," he said.