Pacific leaders call for ‘legally binding’ COP16 agreement

A meeting of Pacific leaders has called on fellow heads of state to come to a 'legally binding' agreement at the 16th Conference of Parties (COP16) meeting in Mexico later this year.

Leaders from 16 nations diverse nations in the region also called for a return to democracy in Fiji to help the region battle against climate change.

The two-day Forty-first Pacific Islands Forum held in Port Vila, Vanuatu, concluded today (August 5).

At the close of the meeting leaders of the region agreed climate change remains ‘the greatest threat’ to the livelihoods, security and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific.

They also promised to maintain the highest level of work against climate change in the lead up to COP16.

The heads of state also called on Fiji’s military leadership, who were banned from the meeting, to work towards an ‘early return to parliamentary democracy.’

A spokesman said: “The degree of urgency for real commitments to emissions reduction must be commensurate with the science and associated impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable communities.

“It cannot be viewed in the short term impacts to traditional industrial growth or political tenure, but in the longer term sustainability of economies, societies and peoples the world over.

“A meaningful legally binding agreement on emissions reduction must be reached urgently and without delay.”

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Luke Walsh

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