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Papua New Guinea’s Environment Minister Keynotes the Carbon Forward Asia conference

On May 3 at Carbon Forward Asia, Singapore Hon. Simon Kilepa, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Climate Change of Papua New Guinea (PNG) delivered an excellent keynote speech on what PNG is doing to win its battle against deforestation and the measures it takes to preserve its forests.

CfRN’s Managing Director Federica Bietta, PNG environment minister, Kevin and Peter Smith, REDD.plus

In his speech, the minister highlighted PNG’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, progress made on reducing emissions from deforestation, the national moratorium on voluntary carbon projects, and the pressing need for climate finance.

We stand behind our international commitments. Since submitting our first NDC in 2016, we have reduced deforestation on the national level by over 50%. How many other countries have delivered with that speed and scale? But our international partners have not kept their promises related to climate finance.

Currently, PNG’s forests are removing over 100 million tons of emissions annually. This contribution to slowing global warming is happening for free and is not financially sustainable. If the government were to impose a log ban the consequences would be detrimental to Papua New Guinea’s national budget, standing to lose USD$300 million per year annually in export earnings. The minister went on to say that PNG could not commit to large conservation arrangements without clarity on compensation on revenues forgone from any potential logging ban, and said,

How can we manage our forests in a sustainable manner that advances our development while benefiting the climate? We need our REDD+ results monetized.”

The minister finished by urging governments and corporations to purchase PNG’s sovereign REDD+ results verified under the UNFCCC carbon standard. He stressed that Papua New Guinea was currently a net remover of carbon and asked for support to help the country remain that way

CfRN’s executive leadership also attended. Kevin Conrad, Executive Director of CfRN took part in exciting discussions with other climate leaders, where they delved into the topic of accelerating Article 6 carbon trading in Asia and how to support implementation. It was a great opportunity to connect and exchange ideas with fellow climate advocates.

During the conference, CfRN’s Managing Director Federica Bietta and Executive Director Kevin Conrad also had the privilege of leading a boot camp for corporate buyers on REDD+ sovereign carbon credits alongside Vinod Kesava.

We are grateful for such enriching conversations and look forward to continuing our efforts toward a sustainable future with Carbon Forward.