Not good enough, say Pacific islands

WHILE Pacific island nations are unhappy that the climate deal struck in Glasgow, plans to reduce the world's reliance on coal and promises more money to help poorer countries cope with the impacts of a warming planet.
Not good enough, say Pacific islands Not good enough, say Pacific islands Not good enough, say Pacific islands Not good enough, say Pacific islands Not good enough, say Pacific islands

Elizabeth Kité

Staff Reporter

Campaigners on the frontline of climate change have been speaking to the British Broadcasting Corporation what that means for them.
 
Largely pessimistic about the outcome of the summit, they passionately explained their fears that political agreements aren't enough to save their homes and cultures.
 
Elizabeth Kité is a youth leader in Nuku'alofa, Tonga. The deal doesn't do enough to save her home in the Pacific islands from drowning, she says. The survival of their island is at stake.
 
She calls the summit a stage for big countries to "flex how much they can pay small nations". She wanted to hear rich countries acknowledge responsibility for historic greenhouse gas emissions. "But they talk like promising money is a favour for us - it is not," she says.
 
She became emotional when she was describing how proud she was to watch Pacific Island negotiators fight hard at the summit. Last week Foreign Minister Simon Kofe of Tuvalu gave a press conference standing in the sea, to highlight rising sea levels.
 
"We are friendly people and usually very peaceful. It is unnatural for us to come out so strong -and I am sad the deal does not reflect how hard we tried," Kité  said.
 
She is frustrated by what she feels is a lack of urgency and immediate actions: "It is as though rich countries are saying, 'yes, we'll let the islands die off and we'll try to figure something out along the way'."
 
But she sees signs of progress. It is the first time fossil fuel and coal have been included in the texts. And she says the agreement to discuss separate funding for loss and damage - money to help countries pay for the damage caused by climate change they cannot adapt to - is another positive step.

 

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