“No nation is immune from a changing climate,” says President Barack Obama. Video: White House.
President Barack Obama has addressed Pacific Island leaders and acknowledged their efforts towards dealing with rising temperatures and sea levels that are posing severe threats to the low-lying islands.
During his speech at the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders 2016, in Honolulu, Hawai’i last week, Obama noted the effects on agriculture as well as forced relocation as consequences of climate change.
“Few people understand stakes better than our Pacific Island leaders because they are seeing already the impact,” he said.
“While some members of the US congress still seem to be debating whether climate change is real or not, many of you are already planning for new places for your people to live.
“Crops are withering in the Marshall Islands. Kiribati brought land in another country because theirs may someday be submerged. High seas forced villagers from their homes in Fiji,” said Obama.
According to Reuters the US and China, the worlds highest emitters of greenhouse gases, ratified the Paris deal at the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China on Saturday.
The Paris deal aims to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Obama said the the Paris deal was a “turning point” for the planet.
- A UN report states that Small Island Developing States (SIDs) like those in the Pacific, are responsible for less than one percent of global green houses gases, yet they are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.