Caption:President of the Marshall Islands Christopher Loeak calls on countries to transition to clean energy.
The Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership is quickly gathering momentum, as the UN Secretary General joins the call and the US, UK, EU and the state of Hawaii sign up to be climate leaders.
The Declaration was presented to the UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, on the final day of last week’s General Assembly as a “Pacific Gift” in support of his own efforts to catalyse more ambitious climate action.
Earlier in the week, the Secretary-General had made his own call for climate leadership, urging world leaders to bring “bold pledges” to his Climate Summit next September, en route to finalising a new global climate treaty in 2015.
Presented with the declaration, Ban said: “Climate change is the greatest single threat to our sustainable development agenda and to our long-term security. Pacific Islands are among those that contribute least to global warming, yet suffer most. I congratulate you on adoption of the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership. I commend your resolve to be ‘Climate Leaders’ and I join you in your call to others,” Ban Ki-moon said.
Several other nations also joined the call last week, signing up to the Declaration and listing more ambitious efforts to reduce and phase down greenhouse gas pollution.
On Wednesday, the US submitted President Barrack Obama’s new Climate Action Plan.
Speaking ahead of his meeting with Pacific Leaders in New York, US Secretary OF State, John Kerry said:
The US is deeply committed to leading on climate change. We will work with our partners around the world through ambitious actions to reduce emissions, transform our energy economy, and help the most vulnerable cope with the effects of climate change.
The State of Hawaii also became the first sub-national government to support the Declaration.
The latest pledges came as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest scientific report on climate change.
The report shows that it is now clearer than ever that the warming of the entire climate system is “unequivocal” and that humans emitting greenhouse gases is the dominant cause.
Speaking prior to his return home, President Loeak said: “We want it to spark an upward spiral of more ambitious action, especially from the world’s biggest emitters. The new IPCC report could not be clearer. The world must follow our lead and transition quickly to clean, green energy and a low-carbon future. Otherwise, my country is destined to go under the waves.”