Pacific Island countries have long recognised the climate crisis as the greatest threat to their futures. Drawing on the region’s strengths, values and a united Pacific voice, Pacific Island countries have sought to lead by example – making bold national commitments, playing a major role in international negotiations, and holding their bigger neighbours – Australia and New Zealand – to account.
This document provides a background briefing for the 50th Pacific Islands Forum, Tuvalu, 12-16 August 2019.
For those working on achieving meaningful action about climate change, locally and internationally, effective communications can create hope, improve people’s understanding of the causes and solutions, open doors to collaboration between people, business and politicians, and motivate people to act in meaningful ways, to be agents of change. We can inspire our children, show them all that is possible when adults come together to work on understanding the problems, and building better systems for them and their children and the planet we live in partnership with.
Climate change is already forcing people from their land and homes, and putting many more at risk of displacement in the future. Supercharged storms, more intense droughts, rising seas and other impacts of climate change all magnify existing vulnerabilities and the likelihood of displacement, disproportionately affecting low-income countries, women, children and indigenous peoples.
Pacific island countries are working hard to address the escalating realities of climate change, including the impact on land, livelihoods, and on the food and water security of their most vulnerable communities. The need for accessible, predictable, adequate and appropriate financial support to meet the climate crisis is urgent and growing.
What will the Paris climate change agreement be remembered for? People demanded action. After sleeping for too long, leaders opened their eyes. But it's a mixed bag - powerful governments failed to put our common interest at the forefront.
Climate change is inextricably linked to economic inequality: it is a crisis that is driven by the greenhouse gas emissions of the "haves" that hits the "have-nots" the hardest.
The poorest half of the global population – around 3.5 billion people – are responsible for only around 10 per cent of total global emissions attributed to individual consumption, yet live overwhelmingly in the countries most vulnerable to climate change.
There is likely to be a climate deal in Paris. The emission pledges that more than 150 governments have put on the table this year show that global climate ambition is increasing. But much more is needed, as it’s a deal that could still lead to around 3°C of warming.
Why Australia and New Zealand must heed the Pacific’s calls for stronger action on climate change. A report for the 46th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, Port Moresby, September 2015.
Climate finance is fundamental to a fair and effective global climate agreement. Too few countries have delivered on their obligations. As a result the world’s poorest people have not benefitted from the necessary investment, and climate finance has been a major obstacle to achieving a global climate change agreement.