Region Backs PM
Pacific island countries have rallied behind Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s call to reduce global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius.
Their support came in the form of the ‘Tuvalu Declaration on Climate
Change for the Survival of Small Island Developing States’.
In a communique after their Sautalaga event (talanoa session) on Monday, which Mr Bainimarama opened, they called for the declaration to be a framework for the Pacific Islands Forum to work on. The core points on the climate change battle raised by Mr Bainimarama are in the declaration.
The forum meeting begins today. Tuvaluan Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga has expressed deep concerns at the finding of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) on the 1.5 degree Celsius target, which outlines the risks to Small Island Developing States including marine ecosystems.
“This is exactly the call of the Fijian Prime Minister,” he said. Mr Sopoaga said Mr Bainimarama had been saying that efforts to secure the 1.5 degree Celsius target were insufficient and urgent action was needed.
“We also call on world leaders, heads of intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, business leaders and all people to acknowledge that we are already facing a climate change crisis and to drastically accelerate a global response to achieve the goals of climate change mitigation.
The ‘Sautalaga’ event has reaffirmed also the United Nations Secretary-General’s call for an immediate global ban on the construction of new coal fire power plants and coal mines and a rapid phasing out of coal in the power sector.
Outgoing chair, the President of Nauru, Baron Waqa, has invited partners to enhance the capability of island countries to mitigate environmental health risks, develop and implement policies for the reduction of the health impacts of climate change.
The Australian Minister for International Development and Pacific, Alex Hawke, called a press conference just minutes before the Small Island States started. Coal is an important industry in the Australian economy.
Members of the Fijian community welcoming Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on August 12, 2019, at the University of the South Pacific (USP) campus in Tuvalu.