Paris Accord can turn tide

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says it was morally imperative for the world to act decisively and collectively, and called for the Paris Climate Change Accord to be implemented in full.

The Accord seeks to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.

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“Climate change poses the single greatest threat especially to small Island developing states like Samoa, not through our doing or choice,” he said in his address to the U.N. General Assembly, alluding to the fact that those most vulnerable to climate change’s impact, are those who contributed least to global warming.

“The Pacific region is already facing the destructive impacts of climate change and disasters – cyclones, floods, droughts. Sea level rise and ocean acidification are taking their toll on the health and the wellbeing of our peoples, environment and economies. 

Disaster-related economic losses in Pacific island countries as a percentage of gross domestic product (G.D.P.) are higher than almost anywhere else in the world,” he added.

He said the hope of the Pacific Islands community now laid with the United Nations.

“The United Nations remains our last best hope to provide the political will and the necessary commitment to turn the tide against climate change.”

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