Vanuatu's NDC one of world's most ambitious: Bule

L-r: Climate Change DG Esline Bule, Minister of Climate Change Silas Bule and Director of Environmental Monitoring and Governance, Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Jope Davetanivalu

Minister of Climate Change, Silas Bule, has described Vanuatu’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) as one of the most ambitious in the world.

NDCs are the heart of the Paris Agreement, as they reveal efforts each country is making to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change impacts. It was agreed at COP26 for all countries to “revisit and strengthen” their NDCs by the end of this year. Vanuatu is one of the 13 countries that have enhanced its NDC. There are almost 200 parties to the UNFCCC.

Vanuatu’s NDC includes 144 commitments on lowering emissions, expanding adaptation and addressing loss and damage. Vanuatu is planning to source 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2030 and to introduce electric vehicles, a step to lowering emissions from the transportation sector.

What is special about Vanuatu’s NDC is its holistic and comprehensive coverage of adaptation and loss and damage commitments, said the Climate Change Minister.

“Our sectors are already implementing adaptation action on all islands. They have mainstreamed climate change into nearly all sector policies, and are working every day to achieve the targets,” he said.

“This NDC maps and promotes our sector leadership. In total, there are 112 adaptation targets in this document spanning more than 24 policy areas.

“It is also unique in the world in that it directly includes commitments to address loss and damage. Vanuatu is a global leader in loss and damage negotiations, and is demanding action from all Parties to address loss and damage.

“We are stepping up again today and showing the world that if the most vulnerable nation on earth can commit to addressing loss and damage, so can every other nations.

“Our NDC contains 12 Loss and Damage commitments. When we call at COP27 for a Loss and Damage Finance Facility, we make it clear how these much needed funds will be spent, on long-term Loss and Damage Assessments, on climate displacement responses, and on livelihood transformation when extreme and slow onset events take us beyond the possibility for adaptation,” he said.

Minister Bule said major emitters are not doing enough to meet their obligations despite serous warnings presented by global scientists.

He urged all countries to ramp up their emission reduction actions.

He said he hopes all nations will support Vanuatu’s call for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to give an advisory opinion on the obligations of states under international law to protect the rights and present and future generations against climate change effects.

“While Vanuatu strives to tackle climate related challenges through the formulation of this revised and enhanced NDC, our best efforts still fall short, because what we do at the national, sub-national and community levels will not be enough to solve the global crisis. All states must follow Vanuatu’s lead and get very serious about averting this climate emergency,” he added.