Prime Minister Hon. James Marape on Thursday (16.11.23) attended an APEC Leaders’ Informal Dialogue and Working Lunch, hosted by the United States President, Joe Biden, at the Moscone Centre, San Francisco.
Prime Minister was among leaders of the 20 economies present during the dialogue.
Among them were President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping; President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo; Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim; and Prime Minister of Fiji, Sitiveni Rambuka who was invited by President Biden to attend the 30th session of the APEC Leaders’ Week Meeting, held from 16-17 November 2023.
APEC is viewed as a platform for leaders to engage in meaningful discussions to map out affirmative action and innovative and sustainable solutions for the Pacific region.
President Biden extended his appreciation to the leaders for attending the APEC Leaders Week.
In his opening remarks, President Biden emphasised the threat associated with Climate Change and reminded leaders of the decisions they make in determining the way countries respond to such threats.
“Every economy around this table faces this challenge — every one of us. And as I’ve said before, it’s the only existential threat to humanity. We either get this right, or there’s not going to be a whole lot of people around to talk about it.”
He further emphasised that as a result of climate change and lack of action, there will be droughts, floods, seas rising, temperatures rising, more unpredictable weather patterns, and more unpredictable markets.
“As a region, we are responsible for the largest share of global emissions, so we must also bear responsibility for the solutions while we still have time to change course.”
President Biden had earlier in the week released the Fifth U.S Climate Assessment, mapping out what they have done and how far they have left to go.
He, however, reminded leaders that by doing things together, they will be able to make any real progress.
“Any one of us who gets to zero emissions, it’s not going to change the world; we have to do it together. Only together can we keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within our reach.”
In reducing emissions, the United States has so far signed the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest investment in the climate fight ever, anywhere in the world, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the biggest investment in infrastructure in American history, including “clean power” sector.
“Over the last three years, we’ve helped mobilize more than half a trillion dollars in private sector investment, including to scale up technologies like offshore wind, advanced nuclear, clean hydrogen, direct air capture, and more.
“These investments not only put the United States on track to achieve our 1.5 degree alignment goal – aligned goal by cutting emissions by 50 percent by 2030, they’re creating jobs – good-paying jobs, jobs you can raise a family on.
“And they’re helping lower the cost of clean energy and climate technologies for nations around the world by as much as 25 per cent in some areas.”
President Biden is aware of the impacts of climate change, adding that it is being felt most by those who have contributed the least to the problem, including developing countries.
He assured leaders of the United States’ support to increase international climate funding as a result of his country’s contribution to climate threats over the years.
“And this year, the world is on track to meet the climate finance pledge that we made under the Paris Agreement of $100 billion collectively.”
President Biden has also asked Congress for another $25 billion to strengthen the role of the multilateral development banks in fighting the climate crisis, as well as starting with the World Bank.
Aside from climate crisis, the US is also focusing on ending deforestation, as President Biden says, “forests are key to our future”.
“We’re also working with partners around the table to mobilize $1 billion to conserve the Amazon and other critical ecosystems in Latin America.
“The Amazon is a great carbon sink; it absorbs more carbon from the air on a daily basis than the United States emits on a daily basis.”
President Biden added that the United States also ratified the Kigali Amendment, aimed at reducing the production of super potent HFCs.
“The Global Methane Pledge we launched two years ago together with just seven other countries and the European Union has grown to include 150 countries.
“And here at home, the United States is turning this pledge into progress. We’re investing more than $20 billion in methane mitigation to do things like plugging leaks throughout our oil and gas sectors.
“ In 2023, these steps, if finalized, will reduce methane emissions from covered sources by 87 per cent below the 2005 levels.
President Biden further encouraged all APEC Leaders to also take strong national actions, because it will take everyone to meet this moment, stating, with the right commitments from every economy here, we can limit warming, we can build new energy futures and leave no one behind, and we can turn this moment from great peril into a moment of great possibility.
“And the moment where we stood together to protect our people and preserve our planet for future generations, that’s the moment we’re at right now. That’s the chance we have. That’s what this session is all about.”