Word leaders must address the “inequity and reduce the “artificial barriers” that hinder small countries from accessing climate finance needed to address the climate crisis, President Surangel Whipps Jr. said in his address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this week.
“We urge the UN to address this inequity and reduce the artificial barriers to allowing small countries to access climate finance, and for the UN to create systems that address its Charter to represent “We the peoples”- for all people,” the president said.
Climate finance for poorer or developing countries will be a top agenda during the COP26 meeting in Glasgow starting Nov. 1.
Rich nations have earlier pledged for annual $100 billion climate aid.
Developing nations like Palau have long urged richer countries to make funding easily accessible to them.
“As a SIDS ( small island developing states) nation, we stand here as one of the States most vulnerable to climate change, and we urge fast and comprehensive multilateral action to mitigate the effects of climate change,” he added.
Palau as an ocean state is most vulnerable to climate change he said and “ocean-based climate action can play a significant role in shrinking the world’s carbon footprint.”
He said the Ocean Panel has commissioned research that found ocean-based climate action can deliver up to a fifth (21%) of the annual greenhouse gas emissions cuts needed to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius by 2050.
Access to climate aid he said is a challenge with an economy already vulnerable and further impacted by rising debts.
“This further exacerbates our vulnerabilities, and we are not alone in this respect. Of the 20% of climate financing provided on adaption, only 2% of that support went to SIDS countries. Further, of that 2%, at least half of those funds were not in the form of grants, but in the form of loans.”
He said that it’s time for the leaders to act citing the IPCC Report that the world running out of time to tackle rising temperatures.
“Simply put, we must act NOW to ensure our children inherit a healthy and reliable future. We need to act NOW before further irreparable damage is made to our planet,” Whipps said.
The president also urges nations to support a goal to protect at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030.