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Pacific Island states declare climate crisis

Ten Pacific Island nations have declared a climate crisis and are calling on all members of the international community to honour in full their Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

The nations signed their declaration during the 5th Pacific Islands Development Forum Leader’s Summit, where 10 of 14 member states were represented, as well as regional institutions including 350.org, the climate change movement.

“This declaration makes clear that the current scale of the climate crisis calls for urgent action to phase out coal and other fossil fuels,” said Fenton Lutunatabua, Regional Managing Director of 350.org in the Pacific.

“The collective futures of Pacific peoples depends on us being able to push back against the fossil fuel industry fuelling this climate crisis, and towards equitable and just solutions centred on people - this is what is at the heart of this important international statement.”

The Nadi Bay Declaration on the Climate Change Crisis in the Pacific makes a statement against using ‘carryover credits’ to meet Paris Agreement emissions targets, “as an abatement for the additional Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets.”

In a statement, 350.org calls this “a blunt political statement to the Australian Government which is considering using this accounting trick.”

It calls on coal producers to cease mining coal, and to begin phasing it out in the next decade, as well as asking “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.”

The declaration also welcomes three reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – last year’s Special report on 1.5 degrees of global warming, the upcoming Special Report on Climate Change and Land, and the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate due in September. 

It calls on all members of the international community to do the same.

So far, 18 countries have declared a climate emergency, and their governments will be putting climate change at the centre of policy and planning decisions.

It is not yet clear whether Samoa is a signatory to the declaration. 

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