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Habu amplifies Pacific youths call for urgent climate action at COP26

Former Miss Solomon Islands and climate activist Gladys Habu has amplified the Pacific youths’ call for inclusive and accountable climate action, increased adaptation and mitigation support and enhanced provision of climate finance at the 26th United Nation Climate Change Conference (COP26) High Level Event in Glasgow, United Kingdom. 

Former Miss Solomon Islands and climate activist Gladys Habu. Photo Supplied

The event was hosted by the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and attended by top regional and international leaders, particularly leading negotiators on climate action.

Ms Habu urged the leaders that this COP is the last chance to make the bravest turning point for the better.

“We need inclusive and accountable action.  We seek the opportunity to be well represented at all global climate  discussion tables, from COP26 and beyond. 

“Developed nations must implement inclusive action with responsibility and accountability, that will  translate into keeping the 1.5 degrees celcius target alive,” Ms Habu addressed the leaders.  

She said secondly, Pacific youths need increased adaptation and mitigation support.

“COP26 must ensure that the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage is thoroughly operationalised – in a just and accountable manner. 

Furthermore, the ocean climate nexus must be included in UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change]  priority deliberations. 

And thirdly, Ms suggests that there is a need for enhanced provision of climate finance.

“The delay in delivering the $100 billion climate goal as promised in 2020  was an injustice to many pacific island nations. 

“Developed countries  must deliver timely, enhanced and accessible climate finance to support  livelihoods in vulnerable communities,” Habu said.

She said the Pacific youths are committed to leading more action. 

“We, the Pacific youth, remain steadfast and committed. We are committed to a sustainable and climate safe future for all.  

“We need our service to be enabled through appropriate resources, technical  assistance and simplified access to climate funding. 

“I appeal to you to join me in this desperate call to make this  year a pivotal moment in our history. 

“Can we declare a Climate Emergency in the Blue Pacific? It is a must that we lead an international call to declare a Global Climate Emergency. Our only hope for survival will be lost without urgent action.

“Time is not running out. Time has run out.  If it is not now, I am afraid, it will never be,” Ms Habu told regional and international leaders. 

During the event, the young local climate activist also engaged with the Fiji Prime Minister as well the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Hon Henry Puna and the Secretary General of The Commonwealth Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC.

Ms Gladys Habu (center) with regional climate champions. Photo Supplied

She also engaged in fruitful dialogue with Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister of Economy and Climate Change Aiyaz Sayed-Kaiyum, Republic of Marshall Islands Minister Alfred Alfred Jnr and Tuvalu’s Minister of Finance and Climate Change Seve Painiu.

She has also met Manuel Terai who is the French Polynesia special envoy to the President. 

“I also met young leaders as well, including Kim Allen from PNG representing civil society youth at COP26 and also Ernest Gibson member of the UN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory group on climate change at COP26. 

Kim, Ernest and myself are part of the PIF Secretary General’s Young Climate Leaders Alliance. 

The United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Director of the The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Ms Inger Anderson also gave an address at the event.  

“It was an absolute honour to represent the youth of our Blue Pacific and I was humbled to have been invited,” she said. 

The global climate Change conference take place in the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow from 31 October and will end this Friday, 12 November 2021 .

by Jared Koli

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