Hon Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi,
Prime Minister of the Independent State of Samoa
“Climate Summit 2014, Catalyzing Action”
National Action and Ambition Announcements
23 September 2014, New York, UN Headquarters.
Ladies and gentlemen.
Samoa was proud to be amongst the 134 co-sponsors of the Peace and Security in the Africa Ebola resolution last Thursday, the highest number of co-sponsors ever for a decision adopted by the Security Council.
The UN General Assembly followed with the same determination the next day and unanimously approved the proposal to set up an international emergency response mission for Ebola.
The decisiveness and unanimity of our collective response was both unprecedented and admirable. Important decisions were taken urgently and implemented immediately, a positive reminder that where there is a will and unity of purpose, there is always a way, and when every member state irrespective of economic or political status steps forward to lend a supportive hand, the chances of success are invariably high.
Last week’s events were in sharp contrast to the way some member states have responded over the years to the global efforts to address the root causes of climate change.
Our Pacific countries had advocated, and continue to make the case that climate change has significant security implications. Sadly, some amongst our global community had been dismissive and remain unconvinced. Others through their actions had been indifferent and unsympathetic. And many more had made promises that were not followed through with firm commitments and concrete action.
That is why I want to acknowledge our Secretary-General’s passionate advocacy for an ambitious Paris climate agreement next year.
Our summit’s focus on bold national action and the inclusion of all stakeholders are commendable. It is a timely reminder that no action is too small or insignificant. All contributions matter and every action counts irrespective of the source. Importantly, it places the responsibility of addressing climate change squarely on every individual leader in terms of what national actions he or she can commit to deliver as his country’s contribution to our collective task.
Often at times we blame others for our misfortunes and the current status of our development, including telling others what they should do, by when and how, but rarely on what we can contribute to make a change.
Climate change has political, social and economic implications for peace and security. It impacts on every country, more extensively on some like SIDS than others because their capacity to respond quickly and effectively is constrained by their realities.
The time for waiting is over. Today, we are here to be part of the solution in our fight against the causes of climate change. We are keen to lead and not to be led. Even if the impact of our efforts is negligible, we are committed to do everything possible for the benefit of our people, our generation and those to follow.
That must be our universal message, simple and unambiguous.
Those suggesting they are implementing bold actions for the sake of our vulnerable Small Island Developing states should instead take time to inform their constituents and voters, especially those that deny climate change that in the final analysis, the actions being recommended will benefit their economies, and ultimately the very survival of their countries. With the support of genuine partners, SIDS are challenging the world to follow their lead despite their vulnerabilities
In the spirit of our summit, let me share with you some of Samoa’s specific national actions in place or being proposed.
Overall, we are committed to achieve 20 percent carbon neutrality by 2030.
To reach this goal, we will reduce our fossil fuels dependence by 10% by 2016. This will be matched by an identical increase of 10 percent in renewable energy.
Secondly, we are determined to build and upscale our “Renewable energy partnerships in order to achieve a 100% renewable energy in power generation by 2017
Thirdly is our focus on energy use in the transport sector through the design of our transport system to gain the benefits of new energy efficient techniques as well as the wider use of proven biofuels sourced within our country.
Samoa’s approach is rooted in our conviction that the pathway to an energy secure future is through a “Many partners one goal approach”.