ECO wants to remind everyone that despite the somewhat familiar setting of Bonn, this is no normal round of climate change negotiations, it is historic.This is the first time that a Pacific Island Nation is leading a COP. And ECO asks, who better to lead this process?
After all, Pacific Island nations are some of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The continuous burning of fossil fuels is leading to accelerated sea level rise; longer, more intense heat waves; and exacerbated natural disasters. Yet, in the face of such menace, Pacific Islanders are standing together and saying to the world: “We are not drowning. We are fighting!”
This is the resounding message of the Pacific Climate Warriors, a network of Pacific Islanders fighting for climate justice, who yesterday joined with local communities and activists in the Ende Gelande action to confront Europe’s biggest source of CO2: the coal mines and power plants in Germany’s Rhineland. They stood in solidarity with thousands of people as part of a peaceful protest to shut down one of the world’s biggest lignite coal mines and demand an immediate coal phase-out €” because these mines are still expanding and threatening the livelihoods of frontline communities around the world.
ECO applauds this successful action against the fossil fuel industry and wants to remind everyone attending the climate negotiations, as they kick off today, of the demands laid out by the Pacific Climate Warriors in their Declaration on Climate Change:
ˆž End the era of fossil fuels and move to 100% renewable energy
ˆž Support the adaptation of vulnerable communities
ˆž Limit global warming to 1.5C
COP23 is the “Pacific” COP with Fiji being the first Pacific nation to hold the presidency. The Pacific Climate Warriors are here to amplify and strengthen the climate leadership coming from Fiji and the Pacific.
We must listen to the voices of those most impacted by climate change and push for strong ambition on climate action.
This, after all, is a Pacific lead COP.