H.E. Emanuel Mori
President of the
Federated States of Micronesia
At the Climate Summit 2014
New York, 23 September 2014
Check Against Delivery
Mr. Chairman, Excellencies and distinguished colleagues,
I am honored to be given the opportunity to speak at this important event. It is imperative that this Climate Summit catalyze the ambitious and fast action needed to address the devastating impacts of climate change.
I believe we can still prevent the worst impacts of climate change with fast and ambitious actions, such as using the Montreal Protocol to reduce the powerful greenhouse gases hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms that human activity is damaging our climate, leading to sea-level rise, more frequent and intense typhoons, and severe droughts, among others.
The UNEP Gap Report tells us that we are currently on track for 3 to 5 degrees Celsius of warming this century.
This year was declared the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to bring awareness to our extreme vulnerabilities and unique challenges. As highlighted in Samoa, SIDS have undertaken many important initiatives to combat climate change and achieve sustainable development.
Although SIDS contribute very little to climate change, we nevertheless are taking the steps to address it at the national, regional and international levels. Our key national actions and commitments are reflected in the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership and the Palau Declaration on "The Ocean: Life and Future".
Internationally, the Alliance of Small Island States has made an important proposal to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Workplan on Enhancing Mitigation Ambition. This is intended to close the pre-2020 ambition gap.
The SIDS must not be asked to fight climate change by themselves. The major polluters have the moral obligation to do more, having created the problem in the first place. On this note, we fully support the World Bank carbon pricing initiative.
Our international efforts focus on a global phase down of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. Micronesia was the first to propose this action in 2009, and, since then, it has led the charge to avoid the build up of HFCs, which are the fastest growing greenhouse gases in many countries.
At this juncture, I would like to commend President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping for agreeing to work together to phase down HFCs.
A fast HFC phase down offers the lowest cost and the largest scale climate mitigation available to the world today in the near-term. It will also avoid the equivalent of 100 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2050, and avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.
The enormous potential of the Montreal Protocol to protect climate is recognized in The Economist magazine this week. In a list of the 20 most successful mitigation policies, The Economist puts the Montreal Protocol at the very top.
The magazine also has a separate editorial, entitled: "Paris via Montreal: The quickest way to cut greenhouse gases is to expand the Montreal protocol."
I believe success with the Montreal Protocol in the next six months is our ticket to a successful outcome in Paris in 2015.
Therefore, I call upon world Leaders, to rise to the challenge, and to join Micronesia and adopt this proposed amendment!
We are all obligated by our common humanity to ensure that we leave no one behind in our aspiration for development. It is not too late to change our destructive course, but time is running out. We all must ACT and MUST ACT NOW.