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Pacific Climate Warriors Demand Climate Justice At COP26

The Pacific Climate Warriors delegation at COP26 delivered this Thursday the 'Youth4Pacific' Declaration on Climate, signed by youth representatives from the Pacific and Pacific youth in the diaspora, frontline communities, grassroots organizations, youth networks, and Indigenous peoples. The declaration is a call for global leaders to respond to the challenge of climate change with an intersectional lens, by prioritizing justice, equity and inclusion.

The declaration was delivered in a high level event with the presence of the Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Tuakeu Puna, and the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson, among other oficial delegates from the region. It was followed by a traditional dance performance and a symbolic offering of red sei flowers.

"We know our elders have not failed us. The Pacific Warriors have always been in the forefront of the climate fight. They have fought to protect our culture, and they paved the way for us to be here today. We want to show our appreciation and honor that, because you are the giants that have built this movement that we are now able to be part of", said Brianna Fruean.

The Pacific Youth demands are:

  1. Localise and contextualise their commitment to clean energy by investing in young green entrepreneurs and creating an enabling policy environment to facilitate Youth demands.
  2. Ensure Youth are at every national and international decision-making space, particularly ensuring that nature-based solutions and traditional practices are preserved, documented, and shared through storytelling.
  3. Recognise young leaders as experts in climate adaptation and make available finance to support their actions.
  4. Curb carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030 through the just and urgent transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
  5. Weave science and traditional environmental knowledge towards designing ocean policies and initiatives across all levels. Recognize that traditional environmental knowledge is important and needs to be woven into designing ocean policies, and ocean management initiatives across all levels.
  6. Operationalize and finance the Santiago Network on Loss & Damage, identify new loss and damage finance sources, and ensure these are distributed as grants, not loans.
  7. Transform the public and private financial system at the domestic level and globally by 2030 and ensure that financial flows are compatible and in line with a 1.5-degree pathway, climate-resilient development, and just recovery efforts, which require ceasing existing and future financing of fossil fuel projects and shifting away from extractive economies to regenerative economies that are recognized by Pacific cultures.

"Climate-forced displacement is not an adaptation measure. We urge that gender justice, and human rights be integrated with all-climate responses and that putting the Pacific before profit is of paramount importance. Climate Change continues to be a lived reality for many Pacific people. We urgently demand that leaders recognise that real progress on climate action requires transitioning from global extractive economies to local, living economies rooted in shared values of reciprocity, care, dignity, mutuality, solidarity, and the respect for the territorial integrity, sacred creative principles, and natural laws akin to that of our Pacific ancestors", says the declaration.

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