The following statement has been issued in the lead up to the Climate Forum in Fiji:
We the people of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, Striving to advance the sustainable and inclusive development of Pacific Island nations,
Dedicated to the goals of poverty eradication, environmental preservation and to addressing the challenges of the current anthropogenic climate change crisis;
Advocating for a paradigm shift to foster coherence between Climate Change mitigation and adaptation actions, environmental protection and resilience development;
Declare that we:
- Express deep concern about the lack of comprehension, ambition, or commitment shown by developed nations of the world regarding the impending grave consequences that the current and ongoing Climate Crisis poses for vulnerable Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS), which contribute negligible amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to this human-caused global problem;
- Recall the Suva Declaration on Climate Change that called for the need to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels, which was eventually and legally adopted as a GHG emissions and temperature target in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change;
- Underscore the serious concerns and the stark warnings, documented by the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C and the Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere, GHG emissions must be reduced immediately. The science warns of the real possibility that coral atoll nations could become uninhabitable as early as 2030. By 2100, the coral atoll nations of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Tokelau and the Maldives and many SIDS could be submerged.
- As Leaders of Big Ocean States, emphasize the important relationship between the ocean and climate change in terms of management of carbon, the absorption of heat and regulation of global climate system;
- Re-assert the serious effects of loss and damage on PSIDS including the implications on territorial baselines and EEZ, and the concerns on the current degradation of ocean health, ice-sheets depletion and sea level rise, and their impact on the survivability, livelihood and sovereignty of PSIDS;
- Affirm that climate change poses the single greatest threat to the human rights and security of present and future generations of Pacific Island peoples;
- Strongly support the need for a UN Resolution to establish a Legal Framework to protect the rights of people displaced by climate change that impedes access to basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for many millions of people around the world;
- Support the statement of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to “tax pollution, not people, and end subsidies for fossil fuels” during a visit to Tuvalu;
- Call for urgent actions by all countries, to fully honour and implement their Kyoto Protocol and its amended GHG emissions reduction targets, as well as to meet their NDCs under the Paris Agreement;
- Recognize the urgent responsibility and moral obligation of fossil fuel producers to lead in putting an end to fossil fuel development and to manage the decline of existing production and the need to ensure the phase out of coal power to achieve the Paris climate goals and also recognize that these do not just have economic costs, but also are of widespread detriment to human health through acute respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
- Recognize the ambitions of the Tony de Brum Declaration that targets a reduction of GHG emissions from the shipping industry, and encourage all countries to support efforts aimed at decarbonizing the transport sector, particularly the maritime sector, and seek Pacific partnerships working to advance these efforts;
- Considering the impacts of Climate Change on the whole Pacific and the individual Pacific island countries, WE the People of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, declare a Climate Change Crisis in the Pacific and
- On all parties to the UNFCCC to recognize the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the important scientific work that they produce;
- On the global community to seriously take action to urgently address the warnings of the IPCC Special Report on the dire consequences of lack of urgent actions to address climate change and sea level rise on SIDS, and their legal and moral responsibility to account for the loss and damages inflicted on SIDS;
- On all parties to welcome the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C, and the upcoming Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate and the Special Report on Climate Change and Land by the 25th UNFCCC Conference of Parties to meet in Santiago Chile on 2-13 December 2019;
- On those 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, including the people in their own countries;
- On all coal producers to immediately cease any new mining of coal and develop a strategy for a decadal phase-out and closure of all existing coal production;
- On all parties to take immediate measures to relinquish the subsidies to fossil fuel production and use and support a transition to appropriate and affordable technologies;
- On relevant parties to the Kyoto Protocol to refrain from using ‘carryover credits’ as an abatement for the additional Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets;
- Other UNFCCC parties to support the Ocean Pathway Initiative launched at COP 23 in Bonn that aims for an ocean inclusive UNFCCC process at COP25;
- On all developed countries to support climate finance, capacity development and technology transfer for the vulnerable developing countries to transition to renewable energy for electricity generation and transport.
- On parties to the UNFCCC to ensure there is sufficient finances in support of the Green Climate Fund and to support its replenishment and ensure the rapid deployment of funds to support both mitigation and adaptation efforts;
- On the UN Secretary General to ensure that the upcoming UN Climate Change Summit leads to accelerated ambitions on climate change mitigation and adaptation and encourage all states to urgently take action to address climate change;
- Also on the UN Secretary General to initiate a thorough review of the obligations of States under International Law with particular reference to the protection of present and future generations against the adverse effects of climate change, as stipulated under Article 2 of the UNFCCC.
Endorsed at Nadi 30th July 2019