Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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

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

On Thursday, Maryland will become the first state in the nation to implement a ban on foam takeout containers. guruXOOX / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Maryland will become the first state in the nation Thursday to implement a ban on foam takeout containers.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A sea turtle and tropical fish swim in Oahu, Hawaii. M.M. Sweet / Moment / Getty Images

By Ajit Niranjan

Leaders from across the world have promised to turn environmental degradation around and put nature on the path to recovery within a decade.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Smoke from the Glass Fire rises from the hills on September 27, 2020 in Calistoga, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Just days after a new report detailed the "unequivocal and pervasive role" climate change plays in the increased frequency and intensity of wildfires, new fires burned 10,000 acres on Sunday as a "dome" of hot, dry air over Northern California created ideal fire conditions over the weekend.

Read More Show Less
Sir David Attenborough speaks at the launch of the UK-hosted COP26 UN Climate Summit at the Science Museum on Feb. 4, 2020 in London, England. Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool / Getty Images

Sir David Attenborough wants to share a message about the climate crisis. And it looks like his fellow Earthlings are ready to listen.

Read More Show Less
People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Kevin T. Smiley

When hurricanes and other extreme storms unleash downpours like Tropical Storm Beta has been doing in the South, the floodwater doesn't always stay within the government's flood risk zones.

New research suggests that nearly twice as many properties are at risk from a 100-year flood today than the Federal Emergency Management Agency's flood maps indicate.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch