Statement by Pacific Elders’ Voice for the Glasgow Climate Change COP 26

The G20 must commit to a New Marshall Plan for Climate Change Action

Pacific Island communities face an imminent and existential threat from climate change. As a group of experienced Pacific Island leaders who have consistently championed ambitious climate action, we speak as one in calling for significant commitments with urgent action at the upcoming climate change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. Indeed, we seek a commitment by world leaders that the youth of Oceania will enjoy a future free of the fear and devastation of climate change.

Deeply worried about our planet’s survival, and deeply concerned by the recent warnings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, we, as Pacific Elders, take heed of the science and stand in solidarity to:

  • Call upon G20 leaders to commit to a New Marshall Plan for Climate Change Action that will rapidly decarbonise the global economy and provide the necessary financial support to those most affected by the impacts of climate change.
  • Call upon the G20 to commit to the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, or sooner. As Pacific elders, we understand that our future depends on a renewable energy economy. We note the 2019 IMF report which suggests fossil fuel subsidies are in the order of US$5.2 trillion. Major financial institutions, including multilateral development banks, must stop underwriting fossil fuels. We believe that these subsidies must be redirected to help vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. We need finance and technology that is proven and tested to ensure our nations can survive.
  • Urge the UNFCCC’s 26th COP to finalise the Paris Rulebook, within the broad principles of climate justice, human rights and equity, to enable nations to begin implementation of the Paris Agreement and fulfill its agreed goals and objectives.
  • Call for urgent and rapid action to ensure that the global temperature does not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The IPCC details a grim picture of the current and future impacts of rising temperatures, extreme events and sea level rise. This week’s UN Environment Program Emissions Gap report concludes that current climate commitments are not ambitious enough and will only limit global warming by 2.7 degrees Celcius this century. These developments threaten the existence of our low-lying islands and coastal communities. Nothing less than the future of our nations is at stake.

We must create a world where human security is paramount. We must create a sustainable future for our children and our children’s children. The New Marshall Plan must provide that guarantee.

This is a collective statement from Pacific Elders’ Voice. For further information please contact us.

More statements

While the world’s biggest polluters dominate the headlines this week at the UN climate summit with an array of sensationalist pledges and announcements, designed mainly to distract us all from a lack of real climate action, one of the biggest scandals of all is taking place right under our noses.

The Pacific Elders’ Voice (PEV) welcomes the hosting of 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting (PIFLM52) from 06 – 10 November 2023 in Rarotonga under the theme of “Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way: Promote, Partner, Prosper”.

Japan and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)’s reckless decision to discharge over 1.3 million tonnes of nuclear-contaminated wastewater into our Blue Pacific is a testimony to the dangers of nuclear power.