Pacific climate change pact wins US support

Staff push a boat used to transport Pacific Islands Forum leaders from Eneko Island on September 5, 2013
Staff push a boat used to transport Pacific Islands Forum leaders from Eneko Island on September 5, 2013. A new Pacific regional pact calling for aggressive action to combat climate change has achieved a "major accomplishment" by gaining US support, officials said Sunday.

A new Pacific regional pact calling for aggressive action to combat climate change has achieved a "major accomplishment" by gaining US support, officials said Sunday.

The Majuro Declaration, endorsed by the 15-nation Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) at their summit last week, contains specific pledges on cutting .

The PIF nations, some of which are barely a metre (three feet) above sea level and risk being swamped by rising waters, have since received wide support led by the United States after presenting the document to more than two dozen countries at a post-forum dialogue.

US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced during the session a new fund for Pacific islands vulnerable to .

"Climate change is the defining challenge of our time," she said in launching the Pacific-American fund.

Separately, the US was offering $24 million over five years for projects in "vulnerable " in the Pacific, she said.

"It's going to have wide-ranging impacts on every corner of our globe and that's something that we are already seeing, particularly here as I flew into the airport and saw the sandbags from the last time the water inundated the runway."

Marshall Islands minister Tony de Brum said the US support was a "major accomplishment".

"It will serve to convince those who are not convinced yet that it is a good thing to sign on to."

The European Union, Britain, France, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia also expressed support for the declaration.

"The Majuro declaration is something we very much welcome," British Minister of State Hugo Swire said.

"When you come here and see the highest point on the atoll is the bridge that is about three metres above sea level, that brings it home pretty quickly."

The Majuro Declaration is to be presented to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during the opening of the General Assembly later this month.


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User comments

Sep 08, 2013
If it's a crisis, why has not one single scientist ever said their own crisis was "inevitable" or "eventual" or "unavoidable" ? They only agreed it COULD be, NOT "WILL" be a crisis. Deny that!

Sep 09, 2013
Scientists aren't in the habit of speaking in absolutes. It's irresponsible to do so. Then again if an astrophysicist tells me that the sun will almost definitely rise tomorrow morning, I tend to believe that it will definitely do so. If a (pretty much every) climate scientist tells me that there will almost surely be climate change and the negative impacts thereof, I tend to believe that it will certainly do so.

Sep 09, 2013
Oh geez. What this will morph into is a support system that provides re-settlement help to those who are being effected.
It is way to late. Those who live within 3 feet of MSL need to start making plans. Heck.. those within 15' of MSL should be cosidering their options, too.

Sep 10, 2013
"the US was offering $24 million over five years for projects"

Another nail in the US economic coffin - spending money we don't have to appease people who don't produce enough to cover their cost.

Sep 11, 2013
"the US was offering $24 million over five years for projects"

Another nail in the US economic coffin - spending money we don't have to appease people who don't produce enough to cover their cost.

That isn't even the beginning of a drop in the bucket that is the economic problem in the USA.


As they say, "little pennies add up to big dollars".

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