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As Fiji was struck by its third cyclone of the year on Tuesday, Greenpeace International urged the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to finally take action against the shipping industry’s climate-polluting carbon emissions.
IMO delegates are meeting in London this week to agree a long-overdue deal to phase-out emissions, but divisions have emerged between high-ambition states (Europe and the Pacific Islands) and those that want to lower ambition over the pace of emissions cuts.
In response, Greenpeace International political advisor Veronica Frank said “Debating timelines for emissions cuts in the safety of a London office is a luxury the people of the Pacific do not have. They are fighting for their survival and the IMO has for years failed to act. The moment for change is now and the shipping industry must pull its weight if we’re to keep families and the future of our climate safe.”
In the Pacific, Cyclone Keni was upgraded to a category 3 system as it approached Fiji’s main island, sparking emergency evacuations and resulting in flooding and damages.
Just a week earlier, Cyclone Josie had swamped the country’s main island, resulting in five deaths. In its aftermath, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said his country had entered a “frightening new era” of climate threats.
“Forced to prepare with our families for yet another severe cyclone, it is extremely disappointing that some countries at the IMO meeting are trying to prevent the climate action the world needs for a safe future,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Matisse Walkden-Brown said from Fiji.
“We may be scared, tired and frustrated, but we also know who is blocking the emissions cuts we need for survival. We are watching. If you are a true friend of the Pacific, please don’t just send us your prayers and thoughts. Do something to prevent yet another disaster.”
Frank added “The shipping industry already has the operational and technical solutions at hand to significantly cut emissions and costs. There is no excuse not to agree on a full phase-out of emissions by 2050 at the latest. Anything less would be a grave injustice to the people of the Pacific and the rest of the world. No region of the world is safe from climate change.” .
SOURCE: INTERNATUIONAL SHIPPING/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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