The PIF and the EU Unite Against Climate Change
The Pacific Island Forum and the European Union Join up to Act Against Climate Change
The Pacific Island Forum and the EU have endorsed a joint Declaration on climate change that outline their common concerns for global warming and their common interest for an ambitious post Kyoto international agreement.
With 1444 inhabitants over 260 sq km, Niue is one of the smallest states on earth. However it is also chairing the 16 nation strong Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), including Australia, New Zealand and 14 other Pacific Island states stretching over a combined Exclusive Economic Zone of 20 million sq km.
The Premier of Niue, Toke Talagi, attended the Climate Change Roundtable at the European Development Days in Strasbourg on 17 November. He has announced that the PIF and the EU have just concluded negotiations leading to their common framework for action on climate change in the Pacific.
The Joint EU – PIF declaration shows that the EU and the Pacific Island Countries have similar concerns on climate change and that different views can be reconciled against the urgency of global warming. It is an important building block towards joined up approaches and ambitious targets for a post-Kyoto climate change agreement.
The Pacific region is already witnessing the impact of increasing global temperature and rising sea levels. Some states, such as Kiribati and Tuvalu, are faced with the prospect of disappearing completely under water in a few decades. "This is an area of the world where a 2˚C global temperature increase makes the whole difference between life and death, life that they now know and live or death of that existence, and cultural and historical taoga or heritage", said the Premier of Niue.
The Commissioner for Development Louis Michel underlined that "Europe and the Pacific may be physically far away but we share the same concerns and have common interests to pursue in the face of global challenges such as climate change".
Further information on the EU relations with the Pacific is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/development/geographical/regionscountries/eupacific_en.cfm