HONIARA is becoming a home to used cars, vehicles and ships imported into the country with no emission standard policy in place, says Opposition Leader and Member of Parliament for Aoke Langalanga, Matthew Wale.
Mr Wale shared the statement with the Solomon Star, ahead of the COP26 which will be attended by officials from the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology in a months’ time in Glasgow.
It was believed that with the current growing population in Honiara City the emission of Green House Gas (GHG) through various means will be immense.
Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands and the main commercial hub of the nation continue to be a highly concentrated area with a very high population density of 5,950 people per square kilometre compared to all other provinces.
According to the 2019 census report it showed that during 2009-19 Honiara recorded the fastest annual growth of 5.8% with an increase of 57,033 people growing by 5,700 people annually.
On this backdrop, the usage of imported used cars, vehicles, ships, mismanagement of wastes and the logging sector can contribute to the Green House Gas domestically which contradicts the government climate change policies.
Wale expressed that the government must adopt emission standards on cars/vehicles and ships imported into the country.
“Current government policy on these at present is mindless openness as the scrapheap or metal graveyard for vehicles. Logging equipment, ships and barges,” he said.
According to the Solomon Islands Climate Change Policy 2012-2017, Solomon Islands National Communications to the UNFCCC has established that the energy, forestry (logging) and waste management sectors produce the most GHG emissions in the country.
Wale further added that our carbon footprint has always been negligible because no heavy manufacturing industries in Solomon Islands, so with Tina hydro Project reducing diesel generation by SolPower (our largest emitter) it is easy to reduce our carbon footprint.
“But, our mismanagement of logging, allowing unfettered felling of natural growth forests way beyond sustainable levels have contributed to the degradation of the environment and the biomass and biodiversity – all critical elements of environmental policy and climate change.
“while out government is committed to reducing our carbon footprint and doubling on out national determined contribution through the Tina Hydro Project, yet the same government is enjoying the company of loggers to cling to power,” he stressed.
Mr Wale further stated that it’s high time our Government adopt emission standards policy on cars/vehicles & ships imported into the country.
And also decouple itself from its logging sponsors who are among our biggest polluters, responsible for single-handedly degrading our natural growth forests which contributes to GHG domestically.
More importantly our government must continue to advocate and ask the big emitters like China, Australia and US to embrace the 1.5°C target and increase their own net zero ambitions.
“That should be our government message in COP26,” the Opposition Leader said.
Meanwhile, MECDM Permanent Secretary Dr Melchior Mataki stated in a press conference last week that climate change is every bodies business.
He said while we can advocate for the 1.5°C, both the government and the country as a whole must work on its mitigation strategies on how to deal with the impacts of climate change.
By ANDREW FANASIA