Trade and climate top talking points when Pacific Islands Forum opens

Australia, New Zealand and the United States will be challenged to act on climate change when regional leaders meet for the Pacific Islands Forum in the Republic of Marshall Islands this week.

Trade, and climate policy are expected to be top talking points when the largest gathering of Pacific leaders gets underway in the capital of Majuro today.

Canoes, dancers and a village of solar-powered thatched huts will greet four hundred leaders and delegates from fifteen Pacific countries and thirteen partner states, in one of the largest events the nation of 53,000 people has ever hosted.

The Marshall Islands government will try to drive the conversation, with the Majuro Declaration recognising an urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and calling for “climate leadership” from Pacific states and forum partners.

Marshall Islands President and Pacific Islands Forum Chair Christopher Loeak said climate change is the greatest threat facing his country and many others – and he hoped the declaration would be a “dynamic platform” for changing attitudes and policies in the region.

“We want the Majuro Declaration to demonstrate the Pacific’s climate leadership through the region’s accelerating transition to clean and renewable energy, and call on everyone, including the world’s biggest emitters, to do more,” he said.

“Waiting for a new global agreement in 2015 will not be enough. Accelerating climate action now, and well before 2020, is critical. With global leaders scheduled to come together on climate change in September 2014, now is the time to build our new wave of climate leadership.”

For the complete article, please see PacificScoop.