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“Stop feeding the beast,” Samoa takes on fossil fuel at global climate change talks

SAMOA, December 6 - Climate Change Resilience

4 November 2023, Dubai UAE – Samoa, as the Chair of the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS), has called on major emitters to enhance their commitments to urgent climate change action, and to stop “feeding the beast.”
Samoa’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Hon. Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, made the point during a press conference in the AOSIS Pavilion at COP28 in Dubai, UAE, on Monday.
One of the central issues at COP28 is the future of fossil fuels. Delegates are grappling with how to phrase a final agreement that addresses the use of coal, oil, and gas—primary contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. 
For small island developing states (SIDS) from the Pacific, Caribbean, African, Indian Ocean and South China Seas, they are calling for a complete phase out of fossil fuel, in line with the best available science and provisions of the Paris Agreement.
“We must stop feeding the beast,” Hon. Toeolesulusulu said. “AOSIS calls on major emitters to enhance their commitments, including aligning their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) with the 1.5-degree goal, leading the way on fossil fuel phase out, phasing out all inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, and ensuring peaking of global emissions before 2025 and halving them by 2030, transitioning to global net zero global emissions by 2050, with developed countries taking the lead.
“We must collectively ensure an accelerated and global just transition by promoting the development of relevant technologies, and removing barriers to transboundary flows of clean and renewable energy.”
Since 1990, AOSIS has represented the interests of the 39 small island and low-lying coastal developing states in international climate change, sustainable development negotiations and processes. 
As a voice for the vulnerable, its mandate is more than amplifying marginalised voices as it also advocates for these countries’ interests and Samoa as the Chair has continued that work at COP28.
“At COP28, we have a duty to embark on a course to renew the connection between humanity and the Earth.  If we fail in this mission, my friends, the consequences will be catastrophic,” said Hon. Toeolesulusulu.
“For our small island developing states, everything centers on keeping global warming below the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit. We are already enduring severe impacts at our present level of warming.” 
The AOSIS Chair cautioned that loss and damage will escalate with every increment in temperature.  
“This is why AOSIS continues to amplify our call to keep 1.5 alive. For our islands, there can be no alternative. This is our red line.”
Samoa also used the opportunity to articulate some of the key priorities including the Global Stocktake, Loss and Damage Fund, the Global Goal on Adaptation and Climate Finance.
“The outcome of GST must include both a political declaration and a robust CMA decision that lays out an action plan charting a clear path for implementation to limit warming to 1.5°C,” said the Minister of MNRE.
On the Loss and Damage Fund, Hon. Toeolesulusulu reminded that for more than 30 years, AOSIS had fought for loss and damage financing for vulnerable countries, in particular small island developing states. 
“It is our hope that we continue to build on this momentum and increase capitalisation of this fund, to provide the critical assistance our countries on the frontlines need to address the impacts from this crisis we did not cause,” he said. “The Global Goal on Adaptation negotiations should yield an ambitious framework to scale up progress on transformative adaptation actions, deliver swift solutions and financial support, and set us on a course for a more sustainable future.”
On Climate Finance, AOSIS is calling on parties to deliver on their commitments to the $100 billion goal and to enhance this commitment post 2025 to make the scale of climate finance commensurate with the scale of the challenge. 
“We urge all Parties to come to the table ready to work together for the best possible outcome for all people on the globe. We have a mandate to leave no one behind, and AOSIS is committed to fulfilling this pledge for our citizens at home who are depending on us to secure their survival.”
The 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP28) in Dubai, UAE is taking place from Thursday 30 November 2023 – Tuesday 12 December 2023. 
It is being attended by Pacific leaders and their delegations, who are advocating for the survival of Pacific communities who continue to be at the forefront of climate change impacts.
A key part of amplifying the One Pacific Voice at COP28 is the Moana Blue Pacific Pavilion, which is a Pacific partnership with Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. Another key part of the Pacific’s work at COP28 is the Pacific Delegation Office, which is Pacific partnership with Aotearoa New Zealand. Both the Moana Pacific Pavilion and the Pacific Delegation Office are managed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

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