Posted inStory / Samoa

EU and Pacific explore low carbon reforms

EU-Pacific Green-Blue Alliance to support the battle against climate change while also creating employment opportunities

The European Union and Samoa are exploring new ways to collaborate in the fight against climate change as the international body reaffirmed its goal of achieving a low carbon economy by 2050 last Thursday. 

The official launch of the EU-Pacific Green-Blue Alliance was an opportunity for speakers and representatives from both sides to explore possibilities for future collaboration, the transfer of advanced technology and to encourage initiatives that support the battle against climate change while also creating employment opportunities.  

The EU said that the alliance is a climate change initiative that takes into account the specific challenges of the Pacific region when dealing with the challenges of a changing climate.

The initiative focuses on climate action, building resilience in the face of global warming and promoting the sustainable use of natural capital as the basis for inclusive and sustainable economic development. The initiative also respects the rule of law, human rights and fundamental values.

In a keynote address on Thursday, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said the alliance reaffirms the special case of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) in the global battle against climate change. 

“Despite the vulnerabilities aggravated by the twin crises of climate change and COVID-19, Pacific SIDS continues to demonstrate ambition for a low carbon and resilient global economy,” the Prime Minister said.

“Furthermore, the alliance framework is developed from a convergence of values and principles of the EU Green Deal, the pacific protocol, and the 2050 strategy for a blue Pacific continent. 

“The focus of the alliance encompassing climate action resilience and sustainable use of natural capital as the basis for inclusive and sustainable economic development resonate well with us under the overarching safeguards of the rule of law, human rights, and fundamental values.

“We are also in agreement with the key actions identified under the two main pillars, one, climate action resilience and recovery, and secondly inclusive and sustainable economic development.”

She said that the action also reflects the state of EU-Samoa bilateral relations.

PM Mata’afa said that the Government would be keen to see how the alliance can harness the power of the EU’s Green Deal for Pacific nations’ own fight against climate change and to strengthen alliances with the region.

(The European Union’s Green Deal is a set of policies and initiatives designed to make the international body carbon neutral by 2050; more recently a proposed expansion of the plan seeks to reduce member states’ climate emissions by up to 50 per cent compared to 1990 levels. The deal aims to use a variety of mechanisms to achieve its goal, ranging from technological advancements to climate finance)

“We look forward to the implementation of the green-blue alliance, particularly to the intention to adopt a combination of national, regional, and multi-country approaches while emphasising national ownership and ensuring capacity building in the countries of the region,” the Prime Minister said.

“We applaud the interest by the European Union to support youth and to support and increase youth participation in the implementation of the green-blue alliance. 

“It is important to ensure that youth is not just a group to be consulted but that they can be a pillar than consultations with the right outreach programmes, leadership training and enhancing awareness of climate change issues.”

She said that during the preparations of Samoa’s recently completed universal periodic review of the country’s human rights record, the Government learnt the value of consultation with stakeholders. 

“This all goes for open information sharing, willingness to provide feedback in order to build knowledge-based capacities,” Fiame said. 

“The development of iterative participatory approaches through different stakeholder networks are conducive to sharing and capitalising of traditional knowledge between generations and the recognition of Pacific cultures and heritage.

“Excellences, the investment needs of the Pacific to achieve its climate and development objectives will exceed by far public funds and development grants available to the region. 

“We expect to see a combination of modalities to be used and that the alliance will be the driver for policies and legislation as well as provide incentives and support for their implementation.”

The Green-Blue Alliance will support initiatives that create opportunities for income, jobs and growth, while simultaneously supporting environmental policy goals.

This story was produced by Marc Membrere, published at Samoa Observer on 14 November 2021, reposted via PACNEWS.

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