Pacific leaders endorse climate-action declaration
an article by Islands Business
Video: Pacific declaration on climate change
Fourteen Pacific leaders, including those of
Australia and New Zealand, agreed in Majuro Thursday
to “demonstrate climate leadership through action
that contributes to the urgent reduction and phase
out of greenhouse-gas pollution.”
photo of Pacific leders from video of Australia Network News
click on photo to enlarge
The Majuro Declaration is light on details, but
will be presented to United Nations Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon at the General Assembly later
this month in New York by Marshall Islands
President Christopher Loeak to “contribute to his
efforts to catalyze ambitious climate action and
mobilize political will for a legally binding
climate-change agreement by 2015.”
Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr., whose
country was chosen to host next year’s annual
Pacific Islands Forum summit, said “in the true
spirit of Pacific culture, we don’t use harsh
words or demands” in the call for climate action.
“But the issue is about our very survival and
sustainability as a people.”
Although the level of greenhouse-gas emissions
from sparsely populated Pacific islands is
miniscule, island leaders this week in Majuro
continuously talked about their domestic agendas
for shifting away from fossil-fuel power to
renewable energy while challenging developed
nations to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
“We have got to do things within our own domestic
capacity to adapt to climate change and to better
engage our partners,” Remengesau said.
Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, whose atoll
nation of 11,000 is under threat from rising sea
levels, has been forcefully demanding action to
cut emissions. After the leaders adopted the call
for climate action Thursday, Sopoaga said, “I feel
a little bit happy, but I want to see the Majuro
Declaration received at the highest level of the
United Nations so that we can come up with a
legally binding framework in 2015.”
In other major actions, Forum leaders are expected
to invite Fiji to rejoin the organization after
elections are held next September, the first since a
military coup in 2009 toppled a democratically
“All Forum leaders very much look forward to
bringing Fiji back to the Forum family (after
elections in 2014),” said Forum Secretary General
Tuiloma Neroni Slade.
Cuba was invited to become the 15th Forum dialogue
partner, while a decision on accepting Spain was
deferred to next year’s Forum.
The leaders also endorsed a U.N. Special
Rapporteur’s report on nuclear testing in the
Marshall Islands that calls on the United States
government to pay over $2 billion in awards to
nuclear-affected islanders. The U.S. and United
Nations “have ongoing obligations to encourage a
final and just resolution for Marshallese,” said
the communiqué issued Thursday.
Question(s) related to this article:
Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?
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Latest reader comment:
[responding to CPNN article The film 'Demain', a manifesto?
Yes initiatives from the grassroots are important and necessary which will have a direct impact on the present and the future. But there are governments like India which are conscious of over exploitation of the earth’s resources and are taking suitable policy measures and also taking legal action against the exploiters.
We must emphasize public transportation and reduce our dependence on individual cars even though the auto industry will not like this.
Otherwise it is not demain but aujourdhui — the problems are there for us to see.