We are not drowning, we are fighting!
Bonn, November 8, 2017: In an emotionally overcharged event the PIDF Secretary General was honored to be part of the “We, the Pacific” Talking about Pacific Priorities COP23 side event held at the uniting for climate Talanoa Space, Bonn Zone. The event organised by the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN), 350.org-Pacific Climate Warriors and the Office of the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, witnessed the 350 Pacific Climate Warriors present their #HAVEYOURSEI Declaration to remind the world that for us in the Pacific, climate action is about survival.
In this authentic display of Pacific Island voices, they united to support Pacific leaders in upholding this moral stance at COP23 with climate activists from across the Pacific region presented a declaration on climate change.
The Pacific Climate Warriors Declaration on Climate Change, part of 350’s Have Your Sei campaign, was signed by more than 23,000 people and called on world leaders to take effective action on climate change by placing the voice of the people above that of the fossil fuel industry. 350 Pacific’s Pacific Climate Warriors made the bold call in September to ensure the region’s leadership on climate change was recognised and the Pacific’s voice heard.
The Pacific Climate Warriors Declaration on Climate Change is calling for the immediate phase-out of existing fossil fuel projects, the banning of all new fossil fuel infrastructures, shutting down of existing ones, and canceling planned expansions. This should also coincide with commitments to rapidly transition towards 100% renewable energy, by no later than 2050.
It also asks for immediately deliver the finance and support needed for countries already facing irreversible loss and damage, as well as the immediate establishment of adaptation mechanisms to cope with ongoing climate impacts.
The declaration also calls for the prohibition of the fossil fuel industry from participating in the UNFCCC processes so that they can no longer delay, weaken and block action on climate change and urgent action of everything that the Paris Agreement called for, including international efforts to ensure global average temperatures do not exceed 1.5 degrees from pre-industrial levels.
The call echoed a plea made by the Pacific Climate Warriors on the eve of COP23 to end the era of fossil fuels. Similar calls were made at the talanoa gathering place in the Bonn Zone during the event where the PIDF Secretary General also spoke about PIDF’s work in the region on the proposed Pacific Climate Treaty and the PIDF Climate Roadmap amongst other innovative approaches such as the Pacific Green Business Centre and the high level Pacific Blue Economy conference.
“We have worked very closely and we will continue to work with PICAN and the Pacific Climate Warriors to gather support to end the era of fossil fuels and call for urgent action of everything that the Paris Agreement called for, including international efforts to ensure global average temperatures do not exceed 1.5 degrees from pre-industrial levels,” said the PIDF Secretary General at the ceremony.
The declaration was printed on tapa cloth, with framed copies presented to key Pacific environment leaders, including the PIDF Secretary-General and the former President of Kiribati and global advocate and climate warrior, Anote Tong amongst other two high level representative guests.
The presentation opened with a lotu and blessing offered by climate warrior, Reverend James Bhagwan, who prayed for an increased spiritual awareness of the earth and ocean and for us to become healers, not harmers.