World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Statement By Henry Puna, Secy Gen, Pacific Islands Forum, Pacific Oceans Commissioner On The IPCC Working Group 1 Report

Statement by Henry Puna, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum, Pacific Oceans Commissioner, On the IPCC Working Group 1 report on the Physical Science basis of the sixth assessment

The latest IPCC Working Group 1 Report this week confirms what the Blue Pacific already knows to be true – our planet is in the throes of a human-induced climate crisis, and we have lost the luxury of time. On the current trajectory, we are on track to exceed the 1.5-degree limit on global warning by 2040.

Of major concern for the Blue Pacific Continent and the future of our island homes, is the fact sea levels could rise by two metres by 2100 and a disastrous five metres by 2150. The report also found that extreme sea level events that previously occurred once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century. To put this into perspective, this will result in the loss of millions of lives, homes and livelihoods across the Pacific and the world.

We are on the brink of a climate catastrophe, with a narrow window to act.

Governments, big business, the major emitters of the world can no longer ignore the voices of those already enduring this unfolding existential crisis. They can no longer choose rhetoric over action. There are simply no more excuses to be had. Our actions today will have consequences now and into the future for all of us to bear.

The 2019 Kainaki Lua Declaration from our Pacific Island Forum Leaders continues as our clarion call for urgent climate action. Not later. Not when we decide we are ready. But now.

Collectively, humanity has a choice to make this a turning point to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius, or rather hit a tipping point and face irreversible and catastrophe climate change impacts.

We can turn this around. But only if we act now. Forum Leaders have upped the ante in 2021 with their recent issue of the Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the face of Climate Change-related Sea-level rise – a strong and decisive step in efforts to secure our Blue Pacific home now and into perpetuity.

World leaders, like our Pacific leaders, must affirm climate change as the single greatest threat facing all humanity and act with urgency to implement the Paris Agreement at COP 26 this November.

We know what needs to be done, how it will happen, and who must act. The 6th IPCC Assessment Report shows us that the science is clear. We know the scale of the climate crisis we are facing. We also have the solutions to avoid the worst of climate change impacts. What we need now is political leadership and momentum to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

COP 26 must be a turning point to deliver major emissions reductions and the necessary financial support for vulnerable countries to build resilience and adapt to climate change impacts.

We have only one planet and one final opportunity to ensure its survival. We must leave a future for our children to inherit. The net-zero future of our one Blue Pacific Continent and this one Blue Planet is still -albeit barely–within reach. But only if the world takes ambitious and decisive climate action, now.

–Suva Fiji, 9 August 2021

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


ITUC: Nobel Prize In Economics Explodes Minimum Wage And Jobs Myth

The prize was awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for real-world research in the 1990s that demonstrated, empirically, that the idea touted by conservative economists that higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs is not based on fact... More>>

Science Media Centre: New South Wales Opens Up For Fully-vaccinated – Aus SMC Expert Reaction
Sydney has partially eased Covid-19 restrictions for fully-vaccinated individuals after NSW reached its target of 70 per cent of the population double-dosed. The Australian Science Media Centre has asked experts about the possible risks of the country opening up again...More>>

Nobel Peace Prize: Journalists Who ‘Speak Truth To Power’ Recognized

Two campaigning journalists were awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, which UN Secretary-General António Guterres said was recognition that a free press is “essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights – and the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions”...

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>

COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>

UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>