Year 4, Month 9, Day 14: Well, That’ll Make Them Sit Up And Take Notice

The Sowetan (South Africa) alerts us to a resolution from the Pacific Island Nations:

Pacific island nations on Thursday night signed a declaration promising action on climate change to counter “the greatest threat to the security, livelihoods and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific.”

The declaration was agreed at a forum in Majuro, the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

“We want our Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership to be a game-changer in the global fight against climate change,” said Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak. “We need the rest of the world to follow the Pacific’s lead.”

A number of commitments were made in the declaration. The Cook Islands pledged to have 50 per cent of electricity needs met by renewable energy by 2015; the Federated States of Micronesia said it would decrease the import and use of imported petroleum by 50 per cent by 2020; and Niue said it aimed to have 100 per cent of its electricity generation from renewable sources by 2020.

I’m recycling today. September 7:

The Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership underlines a cruel irony: the nations most immediately affected by climate change are almost always the ones contributing least to the carbon footprint of our industrialized civilization. While planetary temperatures continue to rise and polar ice continues to melt, the world’s largest developed countries seem paralyzed in the face of the crisis. By geographical serendipity, many of these superpowers are less immediately threatened by extreme weather and the profound climatic transformations now endangering Pacific island nations, which apparently makes it easier for them to ignore or downplay their responsibilities to the international community.

Island states, on climate change’s front lines, have no such luxury. Christopher Loeak is correct in calling on the rest of the world to follow the lead of the Pacific nations, for while there may still be time to mitigate the worst of the coming storms, there is none to waste in petro-political posturing.

Warren Senders

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