Pacific Islands

Samoa PM points to climate change as key challenge

September 26, 2022 4:00 pm

[Photo Credit: RNZ]

Samoa’s prime minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa says dealing with climate change remains her country’s number one priority.

Fiame told the United Nations General Assembly the main challenge for Pacific communities was securing action for survival.

She said the achievement of a 50-50 split between mitigation and adaptation funding was of paramount importance to Samoa and Small Island Developing States.

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Fiame said the big polluters had a moral obligation and responsibility to meet their commitments ahead of COP27 because they held the key to achieving the 1.5-degree promise of the Paris Agreement.

“We should not put out the flame for loss and damage. Natural disasters continue to devastate countless lives. Recent climate events are transboundary and drive home the reality that no country is immune to the impacts of climate change”, she said.

Fiame said her government would maintain and protect human rights and freedoms.

She also said the recent political crises were key to Samoa’s journey as a maturing democracy.

In the aftermath of the 2021 election, Fiame and Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi both claimed to be prime ministers, accusing each other of coups, and the incumbent said Fiame’s swearing-in was treason.