P.M. Tuilaepa hopeful in climate change appeal

By Joyetter Luamanu 19 June 2017, 12:00AM

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has urged the United States President, Donald Trump, to reconsider his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate change deal.

Speaking to the media in Samoa upon his return from UN Oceans Conference recently held in New York, Tuilaepa said President Trump needs to show quality leadership by reconsidering his recent announcement.

While the announcement has been condemned by world leaders, Tuilaepa said the fact is even the United States is divided over the issue.

“Trump announced the withdrawal,” Tuilaepa said. “But then the State leaders also made their announcements. They said not to worry about the announcement by their President because they will continue with their future plans already in place.

 ‘“It’s good what’s happening as it appears that State leaders do not care about what their president said.”

According to Prime Minister Tuilaepa, climate change affects all regions of the world and the United States is not immune.

He said the environment as it stands today is unable to absorb the carbon dioxide and this is why actions to address climate change are critical.

Tuilaepa estimated that back, when Jesus Christ was born the world’s population was about 200,000 million. 

There were numerous trees. 

“Nowadays, 7.3billion is the world population and a lot of trees have been cut down for construction of homes and other developments. 

“It’s not the same, anymore.” 

He said the end result is polar ice shields that are melting and the sea is rising.

This is resulting some extreme weather events where smaller island countries are particularly vulnerable. 

 “The combination of these changes is causing sea levels to rise, resulting in flooding and erosion of coastal and low lying areas. 

“If this happens then there will be no more Apia, we would go and live on the mountains. 

“By then, Tonga is no more, as well as Tuvalu, Kiribati and Tokelau Islands.

“This is unsettling for the Pacific leaders as we are faced by the question of survivability.” 

According to Tuilaepa some countries are looking at purchasing land on higher grounds and mountains.

“For Samoa, we join the global belief that there is chance and with prayer, God is a mighty working God.” 

Last month, the President Donald Trump announced their withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Pact.

In 2015 America signed the Paris Agreement under former President Barack Obama.

The move by Trump was strongly criticized by Pacific Leaders, one of the regions bearing the brunt of rising sea levels and changing weather conditions. 

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has expressed deep disappointment in the United States President’s decision.

Fiame believes America should reconsider its position.

“All I can say is to echo the disappointment from world leaders including those from Samoa and the Pacific at the U.S.A’s about face under the new administration,” she said. 

But Fiame also had a message for all the 174 countries who signed the Paris Agreement. 

“The important thing is for all the countries who signed the Paris Agreement to move forward on our global response to Climate Change. Hopefully the U.S.A can resolve the issue internally and realign with the rest of the world.”

By Joyetter Luamanu 19 June 2017, 12:00AM

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