The four presidential candidates shared their thoughts on issues of climate change and rising tides in a question and answer session during the first 2020 presidential debate held on March 10th at Palau Community College Assembly Hall.
One question posed to all the candidates was what do they think of climate change and rising tides as potential threats to Palau’s future and how would they address the issues? One of the questions was about climate change and rising tides causing a potential threat to Palau’s future. Each of the candidates was given two minutes to share what they would do to address these issues.
Candidate Johnson Toribiong stated “Palau can’t fight its issues with climate change on its own. He believes that climate change is a global issue and will require the help of other countries. He also brought up a term called transboundary harm which according to the United Nations means harm caused in the territory of or in other places under the jurisdiction or control of a State other than the State of origin, whether or not the States concerned share a common border
He believes that the bigger countries that contributed to transboundary harm towards Palau should be the ones to help assist Palau in the climate change crisis.
Candidate Raynold Oilouch said that climate change is a complicated and difficult issue to tackle. He considers himself lucky for having a chairmanship position at the National Emergency Committee because they have a lot of discussions about climate change. The outer states are vulnerable to the rising tide and believes that it requires protection. He proposed that there should be established radio connectivity so that communication is easier in case of disaster.
Moreover, he said that renewable energy will help reduce the effects of climate change and global warming.
Candidate Surangel Whipps Jr. shared similar views with Oilouch in terms of utilizing renewable energy. He said that by reducing the use of electricity and utilizing more environmentally friendly items can help Palau with the fight against climate change. Addressing the issue of rising tides, Whipps Jr. suggested that finding a way to relocate to higher grounds is another option to look into.
Alan Seid also believes in renewable energy and if elected President he hopes to utilize alternative resources for Palau such as electric cars. Similar to Toribiong, Seid believes that support from other countries are necessary and that it is right for Palau to request assistance from the countries that contributed to the harm of the environment.