“Solomon Islands will continue to reduce its carbon footprint”, says Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

In his statement to the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Sogavare says whilst dealing with a pandemic of global proportions, Solomon Islands continues to battle with the incremental effects of climate change and the negative impacts it has on the livelihood, security and well being of its people.

Sogavare told the UNGA, Solomon Islands for its part, remain committed to reducing the country’s carbon footprint and doubling the country’s nationally determined contributions (NDC) through ongoing work on the Tina Hydropower project.

According to the Solomon Islands National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) 2008, climate change is the most important developmental and environmental issue for the country. NAPA provides a process for the country to identify priority activities that respond to its immediate needs to adapt to climate change.

The Solomon Islands NAPA has determined, through a broad national consultative process, that agriculture, human settlements, water and sanitation and human health are priority vulnerable sectors requiring urgent support to enhance resilience against the predicted impacts of climate change.

“Solomon Islands, for its part, remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint and doubling on our nationally determined contributions through our ongoing work on the Tina Hydropower project.

"This 15-watt hydropower project will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by 70 percent. Despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19, our efforts to have the project commissioned by 2024 remains on track and we continue to call on development partners to remain with us on this steady trajectory”, Prime Minister Sogavare told the UNGA.

He says in light of the collective efforts to combat the coronavirus, countries must not lose sight of the need to address ongoing challenges brought about by climate change.

“I once again reiterate my Government’s call for more action by those with a greater means of implementation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Furthermore, I call on all states to set ambitious nationally determined contributions. Let us adhere to what the science is telling us and strive to maintain global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius”, Sogavare says.

In its submission on the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in 2015, the government has committed to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent in 2050.

NDCs are pledges made by respective governments that recognize the Paris Agreement, a framework under the United Nations that aims to reduce emission of gases that contribute to global warming.

While Solomon Islands greenhouse gas emissions are said to be only 0.01 percent of global emissions, climate change impacts are affecting the very existence of its people.