Suva Declaration on Climate Change

More than a message in a bottle

PACIFIC Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have penned what they believe is a strong and stern message to the industrialised world: It is an immoral betrayal for the world to let Pacific nations “sink beneath the waves.”

In what is now known as the Suva Declaration on Climate Change, the leaders from seven Pacific countries met in Fiji September 2-4, 2015 as part of the Third Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) and resolved to push the rest of the world to stabilise global average temperature increase to well below 1.5?C above preindustrial levels.

Among other things, the Suva Declaration on Climate Change wants the November-December 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21), in Paris, to reach a legally binding agreement which will “establish explicit provisions that ensure the strongest possible efforts will be made to achieve and continuously enhance national and global mitigation action, including review of mitigation efforts every 5 years, with opportunities to recommit to stronger action as informed by science.”

The Suva Declaration also wants loss and damage from climate change to be anchored as a stand alone element that is separate and distinct from adaptation, in the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement and that a special provision be made to fast-track urgent action required to assist the most vulnerable countries that are already experiencing existential threats from climate change.

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