The entry into force of the Paris Climate Change Agreement earlier on the 4th of November is a turning point in the global community’s battle to combat the threat of climate change. For us in the Republic of Fiji and the pacific it holds a much deeper significance being the first country to ratify the Paris Agreement and solidifying the united call from the pacific to international communities for immediate action and genuine commitment towards climate change impact across the pacific.

It is a clear political signal that countries are committed to decisive global action to limit global warming well below  2°C and as close to 1.5°C as possible to prevent devastating climate impacts. But even with this critical milestone behind us, the work towards a low-carbon, climate resilient future is only just beginning.

“While it is indeed encouraging to witness the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, we must action our commitments with solidarity and an even greater momentum as there will be hurdles along the way, said the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Secretary General, François Martel who is currently attending COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco.

“We do not only need to meet the Paris targets, but exceed them and this can be done through genuine partnerships and transformative shifts”, further commented the Secretary General.

The  PIDF,  with  assistance  of  the  Pacific  Small  Islands  Developing  States missions in New York, developed a guidance note entitled “From Paris to Marrakech: Maintaining the Momentum” and submitted this note for the perusal of the Pacific Islands delegations during COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco.

“This guidance note reaffirms our commitment to actively participate in the UNFCCC decision making process in operationalizing the Paris Agreement in an inclusive, transparent and balanced manner that leaves no one behind,” said Secretary General Martel.

“We continue  to  welcome  all  climate  change  initiatives  at  the  international,  regional  and  bilateral levels,  both  in  mitigation  and  adaptation  actions,  as  these  initiatives  will  translate  Pacific  Island Countries’  Nationally  Determined  Contributions  (NDCs)  into  actions”, further commented the PIDF Secretary General.

The Secretary General also commented that such initiatives that have been proven successful and will further allow Pacific Island Countries to translate their NDCs into actions are the PSIDS-Italy Model, the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund, and the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) Programme, amongst other.

The Moroccan city of Marrakech is hosting the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC from November 7 to 18, 2016.  The central focus of the negotiations will be placed on enhancing ambition, promoting implementation and providing support for the global response to the threat of climate change.

Marrakesh needs to continue the momentum from Paris as this is where the rubber meets the road.