Tuvalu calls on President Trump to return the United States of America to the Paris Agreement

Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga delivers a speech during the opening day of the World Climate in 2015. Picture: RNZ

NEW YORK, 28 SEPTEMBER 2018 (PACNEWS) — The small island nation of Tuvalu has appealed to the leader of the world’s most powerful nation, Donald Trump to rejoin the global climate change pact, the Paris Agreement.


The United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement in June last year but it has continued to participate in United Nations climate change meetings during the withdrawal process, which is expected to take effect in 2020.


“We appeal to this Noble House not to allow this to happen. Tuvalu, whose islands and lagoons were used by the American forces in the Second World War to conquer the enemy in the Pacific, urges President Trump and the USA to re-join the Paris Agreement, so we can all paddle together to save the world against our single most threatening enemy of climate change.


“Failing this, Tuvalu strongly proposes that we the signatories of the Paris Agreement must quickly return to Paris to critically and urgently re-assess our mitigation pledges and dramatically increase our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. We cannot allow one country to desert the process and derail our efforts, said PM Sopoaga.


He said for a small island nation like Tuvalu with a population of just over 11,000 – the current global warming trend spells a very bleak and miserable future – a future that demands huge investments on mitigation and adaptation that are simply beyond our capabilities


“The Paris Agreement offers us a lifeline. But the current commitments in the Paris Agreement constitutes only a third of what is needed to avoid catastrophic consequences of climate change. This is a direct threat to our existence and survival.


As already established based on the IPCC’s assessments, unless the global community steps up our actions to significantly lower GHG emissions, small island developing states (SIDS) like Tuvalu will disappear completely within the next 30-50 years .


He reiterated his claim that climate change is a weapon of mass destruction.


“It is slaughtering fellow human beings world-over. The UN cannot and must not allow the biggest Greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters to turn away from their moral duty to urgently reduce GHG emissions, and to save SIDS like Tuvalu with appropriate adaptation support. It will be shameful for the whole of humanity to ever allow Tuvalu disappear.


“Every single year wasted with no actions on climate change, draws Tuvalu a year closer to its total demise from earth. But Tuvalu will never give up, we will fight to protect and save our islands, our people, our culture, and our future, he told world leaders in his statement at the UN General Assembly in New York.

He urged State Parties to commit urgent actions to ensure the Implementation Guidelines for the Paris Agreement are concluded.

“We must also ensure that the Talanoa Dialogue process leads to a strong political declaration and decision that responds to the IPCC 1.5 degree Celsius report and sets a pathway for enhanced climate change action.”

For its part, Tuvalu is fully committed to shifting to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020 despite its negligent greenhouse gas emissions.

“I extend our deep appreciation to the Governments of India and France for their initiative on solar energy development, under the International Solar Alliance, and to the EU, NZ, Taiwan, Italy, Austria, Japan and the World Bank for their support on energy efficiency and solar energy development in Tuvalu.”

On the subject of climate migration, PM Sopoaga welcomed the successful conclusion of the intergovernmental negotiation on the Global Compact on Migration and applaud the spirit of responsible leadership and multilateral cooperation to support the ever-increasing populations that are being affected by conflicts and environmental crisis including climate change.

“We believe however, that all human rights of climate change displaced people should be protected under an international legal agreement.  We therefore reiterate the Tuvalu proposal for a UN Resolution on the establishment of a legal process to protect the human rights of people displaced by climate change.

PM Sopoaga said Tuvalu’s proposal is fully supported by the Polynesian Leaders Group, the Smaller Island States (SIS) Leaders and other Pacific Island Forum countries.

The Tuvalu PM also supported calls from Pacific Leaders to appoint a Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on climate change and security.

“The Special Representative will hopefully create the necessary catalyst for a UN wide response to climate change and security. We also call on the Security Council to appoint a special rapporteur to produce regular review of global, regional and national security threats caused by climate change, said PM Sopoaga…

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