by Kiwiana Ngabung – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
Into its final week, the 2015 Paris Climate Conference meet has had many negotiations on plans and targets to reduce global warming to 2°C.
On Tuesday, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor, addressed the delegation at the High-Level Segment of COP21.
This meet is to make national statements and review the draft text of the Paris Climate Agreement, prepared over the past week.
Dame Taylor represented the people of the Pacific saying it has never before been so important to amplify the Pacific voice.
“The ocean is the heart of the Pacific. We rely on the ocean for food, livelihoods, culture, recreation and transport. Our economies are largely based on the ocean and its resources.
“The ocean and climate are inextricably linked. By changing the climate you will irrevocably change the ocean and change our lives,” Dame Taylor said.
Reiterating what other Pacific leaders said in the past week, Dame Taylor urged delegates from around 196 Parties of the UNFCCC, to have “an ambitious and legally binding agreement that will address issues that are necessary” for the survival of Pacific islanders.
“Inaction will undermine our development aspirations and could result in the loss of our unique and diverse cultures and the failure of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
She said Pacific leaders see the future of their people as being based on sustainable development, management and conservation of the oceans and lands. However, unless action is taken now their “future is at extreme risk from climate change”.
Dame Taylor concluded her address saying, “Help our people and our region by concluding the negotiations at this COP and by adopting an agreement that is legally binding, ambitious and durable. Pacific lives, Pacific cultures, Pacific futures, are in your hands.”
The conclusion of the COP21 in Paris falls on Friday, December 11.