Permanent Mission of the Federated States of Micronesia to the United Nations

Acceptance of Lesser Climate Deal Threatens Existence of Small Islands, Representative of Micronesia told the Second Committee

New York (FSM Permanent Mission to the UN): 2 November 2009 - Addressing the United Nations Second Committee (Economic and Financial) during its opening debate on Sustainable Development and speaking on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS), the Charge d'Affaires a.i. of Micronesia, Mr. Jeem Lippwe told the Committee that if member states accepted a lesser deal during the upcoming Climate Conference in Copenhagen than what was scientifically needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, they would be threatening the very existence of small island countries. He said that without adequate cuts in emissions, those islands would face severe food production losses caused by heavy rainfalls, erosion and saltwater intrusion into agricultural areas. "The outcome of Copenhagen will determine the quality of our future, and for some of us, if we even have a future. Our survival is not negotiable", he emphasized.

Mr. Lippwe said sustainable development was a critical topic, especially because the Pacific region was particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. He further pointed out that the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States had been inadequate. While the PSIDS were grateful to the support they had received, Mr. Lippwe continued on to say that limited technical, financial and human resources preclude full implementation of the Mauritius Strategy. "We need assistance that delivers real outcomes for our people, rather than the hollow pledges of the past," he stressed.

In the Pacific, he said, a number of renewable energy sources were available and projects had been pursued to improve their uses. In general, the importance of renewable energy could hardly be overstated, and many Pacific islands had made commitments to increase its use, even though the region's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is negligible.