Pacific leaders set new bar by collectively declaring climate crisis

(Climate Change News, 28 Aug 2019) When regional giants Australia and NZ joined small islands at a recent leaders’ forum they produced the Pacific’s strongest-ever call to act on climate change.

It was indeed an emotional moment when Pacific leaders and delegates were greeted by small children of Tuvalu – submerged in water surrounding a model of their sinking islands with their call to “Save Tuvalu, save the world”, upon their arrival to the 50th Pacific Islands Forum held in Funafuti, Tuvalu, from 13 to 16 August.

Tuvalu’s message could not be clearer or more important – climate change is real and the future of their children and all the children of our blue Pacific is uncertain – unless urgent, ambitious action is taken to limit global warming to below 1.5C.

Last year, Pacific Islands Forum leaders reaffirmed, through the Boe Declaration on Regional Security, that climate change is the single greatest threat facing the region. At their 50th meeting in Tuvalu, leaders discussed this threat and resolved, by consensus, to take urgent action.

Following their meeting, leaders issued the Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change Action Now.

Over the past week, I have seen significant interest in the Kainaki II Declaration from people all around our region and internationally. The level of interest, debate and discussion is very positive and speaks to the nature of the climate change crisis that we now face, and the catastrophic consequences of inaction for many of the forum’s members.

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Climate Change News, 28 Aug 2019: Pacific leaders set new bar by collectively declaring climate crisis