It’s a Mistake to Forget Climate Change Says Wale

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CLIMATE change was never a priority for the government for many years under normal conditions and now under COVID pressures, climate considerations have been almost totally forgotten, says Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale.

Hon. Matthew Wale delivered the statement when contributing to debates on the 2020 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 on Monday.

He expressed that it was a mistake to completely forget about Climate Change.

“This is a mistake – Sea level rise continues, and the longer we postpone doing something constructive about it, the higher the costs are going to be when disaster strikes,” Hon. Wale pointed out.

He further said that the Government’s urgency in responding to COVID-19 demonstrates that it can galvanize policy action to prepare our communities to adapt to climate change and sea-level rise.

“I urge the government, at the very least, to study the Fiji legislation establishing their Climate Fund and take steps to establish a similar fund in the Solomon Islands,” the opposition leader said.

According to Predictions by the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and Human Rights, the world risks a ‘climate apartheid’ scenario where the wealthy pay to escape overheating, hunger and conflict while the rest of the globe is left to suffer.

The climate crisis could force 120 million more people into poverty by 2030 and the brunt of the impact will be in poor countries, regions, and the places poor people live and work.

The United Nation Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner stated that as the climate crisis in the Pacific further escalates, Pacific Islanders are already seeing tragic effects on their daily lives. Reduced access to water and food means more and more people have had to live in extreme conditions and might have to leave their homes.

Solomon Yeo, a young climate change and human rights activist and the director of the youth-led organization Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change was interview recently on 6th August 2020 and he A lot has changed due to COVID-19, and climate campaigning can be quite challenging.

“But the message is clear from Pacific youth activists: despite the COVID-19 crisis, climate activism must continue. The digital space has opened up unfamiliar yet innovative avenues for climate activism. One example is the 350 Pacific Climate Warriors and their virtual ‘Pacific Pawa Up Fellowship,’ where youth participants strengthen their skills and learn more about Pacific activism and identity.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a reality check for the people and governments on the importance of our ocean, environment, healthcare system, food sectors, land, welfare, indigenous people, and education. When we return to ‘normal’, I believe many governments will understand their real priorities,” the climate change and human rights activist, Solomon Yeo said.

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Lynda Wate
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