Polynesian leaders sign climate change declaration

The Polynesian Leaders Group, made up of eight countries, have adopted a declaration calling for international recognition of their countries’ vulnerability to climate change.

The Polynesia Against Climate Threats declaration calls for a joint effort to protect the ocean and the environment, and will be taken to world leaders at a major climate change conference in December.

The declaration was signed by the leaders in French Polynesia on Friday.

It calls for an international support mechanism to be established to compensate for the impacts of climate change and to protect displaced populations.

The leaders say they want the international community to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees celsius by 2100, and to financially support the countries in implementing adaptation solutions.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has been promoting awareness of the environmental challenges that the people of Oceania face.

“Already vulnerable Pacific communities are living with early impacts of climate change,” says Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand’s director, Julianne Hickey.

“In the long term it is the poorest communities and future generations who will have to bear the costs of adapting to the environmental devastation that climate change will bring.”

“We recently hosted Ursula Rakova from the Carteret Islands in Papua New Guinea, whose people have been forced by rising seas to move to the mainland – and have seen nothing of climate change adaptation funds that the world community is supposed to make available.”

The Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand director says that in his Encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis hasn’t flinched from acknowledging the immensity and urgency of responding to environmental degradation faced by many people, especially the poorest.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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