‘Fossil fuels will destroy our homes’

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Francois Martel and Anote Tong.

Francois Martel and Anote Tong.

The high level call to constrain oil, gas and coal production to achieve the Paris goals was yesterday endorsed by former President of Kiribati and climate change activist, Anote Tong and Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, Francois Martel. 

Both leaders formally signed the Lofoten Declaration at the event. 

The Lofoten Declaration affirms the urgent responsibility and moral obligation of wealthy fossil fuel producers to lead in these efforts. 

The Lofoten Declaration has been signed by 500 organizations. 

The event was held yesterday and following the official signing, the Pacific leaders called for a reining in of fossil fuel production in order to stay within the climate limits agreed to in Paris. 

“Fossil fuels will destroy our homes and two degrees will destroy our home,” Mr. Tong said. 

“I have the mandate from the Pacific leaders to continue to fight for this ambitious and urgent work to reduce emissions globally. 

“I am very pleased to declare that the Pacific Islands Development Forum will be signing the Lofoten Declaration today and to join 500 like-minded organizations who believe in the urgency of this effort.”  

Mr. Martel says for about 20 years, the Pacific people have been resisting oil development and extraction in the Ecuadorian Amazon. 

“We have taken our fight all the way to international courts and won. 

“We continue to resist new oil extraction and promote solutions to protect our living forests. 

“We must stand together to keep oil in the ground from the Amazon to the Arctic to protect our climate and our future generations.”  

The event program indicated that potential carbon emissions from oil, gas, and coal present in the world’s currently operating fields and mines would take us beyond 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius of warming. 

For the world to stay within the Paris climate limits, new fossil fuel production must be halted. 

This requires stopping exploration for, and expansion of, new reserves and a managed decline and just transition away from fossil fuel production starting with wealthy countries and States that have the means to act first and the fastest.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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