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Marshalls gets Pacific voice heard at climate summit

The Marshall Islands has issued a plea for help and a call to action at the US Leaders Summit on Climate Change.

Addressing the virtual meeting on Friday, President David Kabua laid out the existential threat facing his country and the Pacific.

Kabua is the lone Pacific leader invited by US President Joe Biden to the two-day talks.

Kabua shared the stage with the world’s biggest economies and pressured those he said held the Pacific’s future in their hands.

President Kabua said there were a series of island nations already feeling the effects of rising oceans.

He said the Pacific now faced an even greater threat.

“We are low-lying atoll nations, barely a metre above sea level,” he said.

“For millennia, our people have navigated between our islands to build thriving communities and cultures.

“Today, we are navigating through the storm of climate change, determined to do our part to steer the world to safety.”

Kabua told the leaders their actions had a direct bearing upon the future of the Marshall Islands and others in the Pacific and beyond.

He called for stronger emission targets, a carbon levy to help the most vulnerable and for 50 percent of climate financing to go towards adapting to the devastating effects of climate change.

“We know what a safe harbour looks like.”

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Five Marshall Islanders in a small boat drifted into Jaluit Atoll after nine days of drifting Photo: RNZ Pacific / Giff Johnson

(Source: RNZ pacific news 24th April 2021)

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