Op-ed by Vanuatu Foreign Minister on the importance of combating climate change( The Guardian)

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"Last week at the close of the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu I described the leaders’ discussions as frank and fierce. It is now well-known that the leaders debated the text of the Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change Action Now for many hours. I do not want to comment on the tone of the debate, as many others have done that already."

"Instead, as incoming Pacific Islands Forum chair, Vanuatu has a message for Australia: we ask that Australia prepares well ahead of the next forum meeting in 2020 and comes to the table ready to make real, tangible commitments on climate change."

"The Pacific wants real commitments on climate change not because Tuvalu was a “humbug festival” but because the Pacific faces a climate emergency, with real existential threats to the future of atoll nations."


"In the context of the pressing climate threat that faces the Pacific, Australia must understand that relationships in the region are not just about the funding of projects. You cannot maintain one message domestically and another in the region. All countries are sovereign and are subject to their own domestic policy. But the Pacific is asking for leadership on real action on climate change. As incoming forum chair, Vanuatu asks respectfully that Australia considers its position carefully on some of these issues so that we avoid a repeat of this year in Port Vila."


"The declaration asks that all parties to the Paris agreement meet or exceed their nationally determined contributions; that all countries formulate mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies by 2020; that members of the G7 and G20 phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and that the United Nations secretary general urgently appoint a special rapporteur on climate change and security."

"We ask that Australia carefully considers these commitments, and moves forward into the United Nations climate summit and COP25 with renewed ambition to tackle the climate change threat that undermines our collective future.

Pacific leaders expect Australia to prepare to come to the forum next year ready to make further, tangible commitments on climate change. I have already written to my counterpart Marise Payne offering my support to make this happen. Without those commitments we have to ask, what is the Pacific Island Forum for? Does Australia want a seat at the table or not?

The declaration contains the words “to lead is to act”. We call on prime minister Morrison to lead on climate change. The Pacific wants action, and we want it now."


Full article on the Guardian



Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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