Strong Pacific voice needed at COP26


British High Commissioner to Fiji, George Edgar has emphasised the importance of a strong Pacific voice in Glasgow, Scotland during the global climate change talks, known as COP26 in November.

While receiving the Youth4Pacific Declaration on Climate Change, Edgar assured that the voices of Pacific youth will be passed on to the COP26 Presidency.

More than 600 participants from 33 countries joined the Youth4Pacific gathering last week.

The Pacific youth are demanding that world leaders to ensure they are at every national and international decision-making space.

The Declaration also calls on leaders to recognise young leaders as experts in climate adaptation and make available finance to support their actions.

The youth are also demanding carbon emissions to be curbed by at least 50 percent by 2030 through the just and urgent transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Edgar said the declaration will also be fed into the youth meeting that will take place in Glasgow in the days before COP26.

“It is important because you are future leaders. It is important because as the UN Secretary General envoy on youth said you don’t have to work with consequences of decisions being taken now. And it is also important because acting together young people can have a powerful impact both through their actions at local level and through advocacy through speaking truth to power.”

The pre-COP gathering provided young people practical experience on COP26 agenda items, further enabling their understanding of the UNFCCC negotiation processes.

Samoan Youth and Climate Activist, Okalani Mariner said global leaders should respond to the challenge of this time with an intersectional lens prioritising justice that promote an inclusive and just world.

“Climate forced displacement is not an adaptation measure and urge that gender justice and human rights be integrated with all climate responses and that putting the Pacific before profit is of paramount importance,” said Mariner.