Pacific Media Watch News Desk
President Donald Trump’s move to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement is a grave moral injustice, say Pacific civil society groups.
His decision is a clear sign of continued support for the fossil fuel industry which directly threatens the lives of communities living in the Pacific Islands.
The group of Pacific Island civil society organisations affiliated to the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) say that while this move by Trump would isolate the US from any ambitious action on climate change, the Pacific and the rest of the world will carry on with Paris Agreement commitments.
PICAN also called on Australia to immediately reaffirm its commitment to the Paris Agreement and begin strengthening its “woefully inadequate targets” in a statement today.
“It’s time for Australia to follow the lead of the Pacific and stand with those on the frontlines of climate change.”
Responses from PICAN members:
Krishneil Narayan, coordinator, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network:
“The Paris Agreement is a lifeline for vulnerable communities around the world. We will not be perturbed by the US withdrawal. Under no circumstances can the Paris Agreement be renegotiated. We expect all other countries to redouble their efforts to confront the climate crisis.
“We welcome the strong show of support to the Paris Agreement by many world leaders. The European Union, China, India and others are already forming alliances to support the continuation of the Paris Agreement.
“Even without the United States, climate action under the Paris Agreement will continue. Not even Trump can derail action on climate change. The United States will be isolated.”
Matisse Walkden Brown, head of Pacific Net, Greenpeace Australia Pacific:
“We move on and we move forward, together. The United States administration have shown their allegiance to the glory days of the past. Sadly for them, the economics, the science, and the people, all agree that the fossil fuel days are over, and that the transformation towards zero carbon is now irreversibly under way and accelerating.
“While this is a shameful day for President Trump and his people, it will not deter the rest of us. It is time for international politics to begin embracing new economies, new technologies, and commit to the fighting for the interests of the people, not the polluters. One man, one country will not change that.”
Koreti Tiumalu, Pacific coordinator, 350.org:
“Trump’s exit from the Paris agreement is immoral and a sign of shortsightedness on his part. It’s even clearer now that his priority is with protecting the profits of the fossil fuel industry and not the Pacific.
“Nevertheless, our Pacific people believe in the strength of the Pacific leadership, and the rest of the world, going into COP 23 and their commitments to the Paris Agreement. It is now up to us to continue to fight for our communities, stop all new fossil fuel projects and support a just transition towards 100% renewable energy.”
Noelene Nabulivou, Diverse Voices and Action for Equality, Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (PPGCCSD), and the Women and Gender Constituency Liaison to the COP23 Presidency:
“This is not just the decision of one man, rather it is a reflection of an archaic social and economic system, one that is based on shortsighted selfishness and corporatisation of our planet.
“This only strengthens the resolve of all those who deeply care about this planet, all women and all people and all species. Resist and propose. Defend the Commons, work with us on alternate strategies. We will NEVER give up on this beautiful planet. ”