Track 0 CEO Farhana Yamin travelled to the Pacific region in February, first visiting Palau to attend the 16th Micronesian Presidents’ Summit (MPS). The 16th Micronesian President’s Summit was held on February 22nd and brought together President Hilda Heine of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, President Tommy Remengesau of Palau and President Peter Christian of the Federated States of Micronesia. These nations work together on a number of issues affecting all three nations, including climate change.
The Paris Agreement featured squarely on the meeting agenda, with the presidents acknowledging the serious impacts already being felt through the region and expressing support for the UN Secretary General’s initiative to host a high-level signing ceremony on April 22, 2016. One of the most important outcomes of the Summit was the Resolution on Ratifying the Paris Agreement adopted by the MPS, in which the three presidents committed to ratifying the Paris Climate Change Agreement as quickly as possible and resolved to explore all available funding mechanisms to ensure its implementation – the Resolution also called on all other heads of state and governments to do the same. Palau ratified the agreement with RMI and FSM committing to do so as early as possible.
Ms. Yamin then travelled on to the Republic of the Marshall Islands to provide briefings on the Paris Agreement to President Hilda Heine and the RMI Cabinet, as well as the Nitjela (RMI parliament). Ms Yamin’s briefing highlighted some important “next steps” for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, such as ensuring early ratification; evaluating the adequacy of domestic national climate change and energy-related legislation in light of the Paris Agreement; and continuing to show political and diplomatic leadership to ensure that the international community acts to fully implement the Paris Agreement.