Palau Adopts UN Climate Change Agreement

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

OEK ratifies Paris Convention, 2nd country after Fiji

By L.N. Reklai

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Feb. 25, 2016) – Palau became the 2nd country in the world after Fiji to adopt the UN Climate Change agreement on Tuesday, February 23rd. In the House Joint Resolution, it states that "OEK recognizes that climate change represent urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies… Paris Convention makes special consideration for developing states like the Republic of Palau… and that compliance with objectives of the Paris Convention will facilitate the necessary partnerships in areas of finance, technology support, and capacity development that are critical to the Republic’s sustained environmental and economic development".

The Olbiil Era Kelulau, Palau’s national congress, ratified the Paris Agreement in a House Joint Resolution 9-118-25S.

The Paris Agreement adopted in December by 195 nations, seeks to "undertake and communicate ambitious efforts" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit increase in global temperatures.

In its "Intended Nationally Determined Contribution" (INDC), Palau sets goals for reducing Palau’s greenhouse gas and emissions between 2020 and 2025.

Palau proposes to reduce emissions by increasing renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency.

Even though Palau’s greenhouse emission is minimal in global context, its targets are "fair and ambitious" when measured against other nations, according to INCD report.

The ratification of the agreement comes before signing of the Agreement in New York in April of this year. President Remengesau expects to sign on behalf of Palau at the high-level signature ceremony on the 22nd of April.

In order for the Paris Agreement to take effect, it requires 55 countries to ratify the Agreement.

"The ratification of the Paris Agreement puts us closer to the goal we all set for nation and ourselves to ensure that our children inherit a habitable, hospitable planet" stated President Remengesau, in his communication to OEK.

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