Pacific Islands must continue to drive agenda

The Pacific region must continue to play its part in raising awareness and driving the climate change agenda.

Institute of National Affairs (INA) Director Paul Barker says Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Island nations should act responsibly and use evidence of the impacts of global warming to drive the agenda forward.

Barker made reference to the recent United Nations Oceans Conference in New York, from 5-9 June 2017, which was partly driven by Pacific Island nations.

The UN Conference is aimed to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for development.

Barker highlighted that the Pacific region has been in a leadership role in the climate change issue partly because it and other low lying countries, like Bangladesh and the Netherlands, suffer the impacts.

He explained that many urban cities of the world that are above sea level, or below sea level, are all affected by extreme climate conditions and weather conditions like cyclones and hurricanes.

“The population around the world is demanding where these environmental and health issues are addressed much more substantially.

“The leadership of the United States is getting exposed to a certain amount of international derision by the position it is taking and looks as if it’s doing it on its own,” Barker told Loop PNG.

U.S President Donald Trump recently announced that he was withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord.

Barker said the position of Donald Trump has tended to encourage this level of contempt and he believes this will not trigger copycat behaviour around the world.

Quintina Naime