SUVA, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Pacific Islands Transport Forum started Thursday in the Fijian capital city of Suva with the theme "Turning the Tide: Decarbonizing Pacific Transport."
According to a press release by the Fijian Department of Information, Inia Seruiratu, Fiji's minister for agriculture, rural and maritime development and national disaster management and meteorological services, acknowledged and congratulated parties that put the forum together including the Marshall Islands, University of the South Pacific, COP23 Secretariat along with other funding partners, private sector and individuals.
"As part of our commitment to tackling climate change, we see this as an important opportunity for us to Talanoa here in the Pacific, and focus on the key sector that has yet to be looked at; transport," he said.
Seruiratu said with increasing climate vulnerability, the state of the island nations are at a huge risk, adding that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most exposed and vulnerable countries to natural disasters, impacts of climate change and changes in global oil market prices.
With Pacific island countries (PICs) having recently taken a global leadership in addressing climate change impacts, this however cannot be undertaken by PICs alone and will require full commitment from each and every country.
According to Fiji's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), around 75 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the PICs come from the transport sector.
The transport sector in Fiji accounts for 8 percent of the gross domestic product and the Fijian government is committed to providing a safe and reliable public transportation through the development of sustainable road infrastructure.
It is also highly imperative that each country's NDCs under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) address all sectors that generate greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
Any further delays in incorporating the transport sector into Pacific NDCs will not only delay the decarbonization process, but could also undermine the diplomatic leverage of the PICs in demanding action from nations responsible for much larger shares of carbon emissions, Seruiratu stressed.
The forum is expected to look at emission standards, develop financial models; explore energy efficiency avenues and showcase research and development for youths in the region.