Pacific Island leaders call for urgent action to tackle climate change

Xinhua News Agency | Aug 16, 2019 at 4:50 AM

SUVA, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Leaders from Pacific island nations attending the 50th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) meeting on Friday called for urgent and transformational global action to tackle climate change, saying that the time to act is now.

"We call on all countries and non-state actors to join with the Blue Pacific in taking bold, decisive and transformative action to address the ever-present challenges of climate change," the leaders said in the Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change Action Now, which was issued on Friday.

The leaders urged all parties to the Paris Agreement to meet or exceed their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in order to pursue global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this is critical to the security of their Blue Pacific.

The leaders said that it is clear to overcome the climate change crisis facing the Pacific Island nations, and they must increase their global solidarity and align their actions with their common concerns. Any failure to act will impact not just them, but their children and all generations to come.

"We call for immediate action and not just discussion of ambition. Action must be taken in our region, and internationally, to support clean, healthy, and productive oceans, the sustainable management, use and conservation of marine resources, growth in the blue economy and address the impacts of climate change on ocean health," they said.

Meanwhile, the leaders also agreed in a communique on Friday that strong political leadership to advance climate change action, protecting their ocean's healthy and integrity, sustainably managing their island and ocean resources, connecting their oceanic continent and ensuring healthy people as cornerstone priorities informed by science.

The four-day meeting officially kicked off on Tuesday night in Funafuti, capital of Tuvalu, with the participation of leaders and representatives from the regional organization's 18 member countries and territories.

During the meeting with the theme of "Securing Our Future in the Pacific," the PIF leaders mainly discussed the issues such as climate change, economic development, maritime security and marine pollution. And on Friday, the PIF leaders met with all Forum Dialogue Partners including China with a focus on greater global action on combatting climate change and protecting the ocean.

Founded as an inter-governmental organization in 1971, PIF aims to enhance cooperation between countries and territories of the Pacific region.