Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Pacific Islands States Call for Urgent Action on Climate Change at UN General Debate

Climate

United Nations News Centre

President Christopher Loeak of the Marshall Islands addresses the General Assembly calling on the United Nations to ensure rapid attainment of legally binding agreement curbing global warming gasses. UN Photo/J Carrier

At the 67th General Assembly on the opening day of the annual General Debate at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York City, two small Pacific Island states at ground zero for the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change and the need for mitigation efforts called on the UN to ensure rapid attainment of legally binding agreement curbing global warming gasses.

“The time is now over for endless North-South division and all-too predictable finger pointing must end,” said President Christopher Loeak of the Marshall Islands, one of the lowest-lying nations in the world.

He said his country had a national energy plan to cut its own emissions, boost its efficiency and pursue new technology. “I ask the rest of the world if you will also meet us in ambition,” he said. “Will it come soon enough?”

President Loeak noted that the Marshall Islands is at present heavily reliant on international assistance and has little other means to provide for adaptation measures needed to mitigate the effects of rising oceans.

“The growing realization that, however, wrongful, we must finance some of our own adaptation efforts is perhaps the most compelling reason to rapidly expand our private sector,” he added.

In his statement to the General Debate, President Sprent Dabwido of Nauru noted that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise each year with no end in sight. “Small islands may be the canary in the coalmine, but we are all staring a global catastrophe right in the face,” he warned.

“If multilateralism is to have any credibility, then we must move to an emergency footing and those countries with the greatest capacity must immediately begin mobilizing the significant resources necessary to remake the energy infrastructure that powers the global economy,” he added.

He called for urgent action to achieve emission curbing and mitigation, and noted that many countries—including his own—are not on track to meet their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and in some cases have suffered setbacks because of the recent global economic downturn.

“At the same time, the flow of official development assistance from some channels has diminished, further jeopardizing our ability to achieve our MDGs,” President Dabwido said. “The UN's sustainable development initiatives have also been graced with an abundance of lofty rhetoric, but few resources.”

The MDGs—which seek to slash a host of social ills, including extreme hunger and poverty, infant and maternal mortality, and lack of access to education and medical care—were agreed on by world leaders at a summit in 2000. They have a 2015 deadline for their completion.

The two Pacific Island nation leaders are among scores of heads of State and government and other high-level officials present their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends on Oct. 1.

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Workers convert the Scottish Events Campus, where COP26 was to be held, into a field hospital to treat COVID-19 patients. ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP via Getty Images

The most important international climate talks since the Paris agreement was reached in 2015 have been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
An aerial view of a crude oil storage facility of Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) in the Krasnodar Territory. Vitaly Timkiv / TASS / Getty Images

Oil rigs around the world keep pulling crude oil out of the ground, but the global pandemic has sent shockwaves into the market. The supply is up, but demand has plummeted now that industry has ground to a halt, highways are empty, and airplanes are parked in hangars.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Examples (from left) of a lead pipe, a corroded steel pipe and a lead pipe treated with protective orthophosphate. U.S. EPA Region 5

Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.

Read More Show Less
ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

By Dave Cooke

So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.

Read More Show Less

By Richard Connor

A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.

Read More Show Less