Quantcast

Pacific Island Nations Declare Climate Crisis, Fear Being Uninhabitable by 2030

Climate
The people of Kiribati are under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A group of Pacific island nations on Tuesday declared a climate crisis and said that developed nations, in particular Australia, have so far failed to take requisite action to avert the "grave consequences" their nations face, including the prospect of their lands being "uninhabitable as early as 2030."


The statements came in the Nadi Bay Declaration, which was signed by the leaders of Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Timor Leste and Tonga on the second of the two-day Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Leaders' Summit hosted by Fiji.

The declaration drew praise from Fenton Lutunatabua, regional managing director of 350.org in the Pacific, who said the statement "makes clear that the current scale of the climate crisis calls for urgent action to phase out coal and other fossil fuels."

Among the demands of the document are a stop to all new coal mining; an end to fossil fuel subsidies; and for states to meet their obligations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to protect future generations by "prevent[ing] dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."

The declaration also calls on "those governments of high emitting countries that are hindering progress in climate change efforts to heed the climate science and urgently change direction for the benefit of all, including the people in their own countries."

Fossil fuel producers, the declaration adds, must abide by their "urgent responsibility and moral obligation" to stop development.

The Pacific nations also took a dig at Australia by calling on "relevant parties to the Kyoto Protocol to refrain from using 'carryover credits' as an abatement for the additional Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets."

As Australia's ABC explained,

Australia controversially counts some emissions reductions achieved during the past decade under the Kyoto Protocol towards reduction targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

The carry-over does not breach the Paris Agreement because there has been no international consensus on the rules, but Australia's decision to count past emissions towards new targets has been widely condemned.

350's Lutunatabua, in his statement, suggested it was grassroots mobilization that drove the text's strong message.

"This visionary declaration," he said, "is a testament to the will of the Pacific people who have moved their politicians to show committed actions in confronting the climate crisis."

"The collective futures of Pacific peoples depends on us being able to push back against the fossil fuel industry fueling this climate crisis, and towards equitable and just solutions centered on people," said Lutunatabua. "This is what is at the heart of this important international statement."

Richie Merzian, climate and energy program director at The Australia Institute, applauded the declaration, and pointed to its potential effect on next month's Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu.

The Nadi Bay Declaration, said Merzian, delivers "a powerful message to Australia … to lift their game on climate action."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Merzian predicted, "will struggle to sell a sensible and balanced approach to climate change when the Pacific have just declared a regional climate emergency."

Reposted with permission from our media associates Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less
jurgita.photography / Moment / Getty Images

By Grace Francese

Outbreaks of potentially toxic algae are fouling lakes, rivers and other bodies of water across the U.S. Nationally, news reports of algae outbreaks have been on the rise since 2010.

Read More Show Less