President Tommy Remengesau Jr. said that the latest global warming report should serve as a wake-up call to developed nations that it could no longer “feign ignorance” to the catastrophic impact of climate change.

The new report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released on October 10, describes a dire world as a result of climate change, with dangerous consequences from food shortages, wildfires, and coral reefs dying as soon as 2040.

The report was issued by a group of scientists convened by the United Nations.

Pacific island nations are in the forefront of combating climate change and Remengesau said that vulnerable countries like Palau have long known of the effects of global warming.

He said climate change could no longer be ignored especially by wealthy nations.

“But let’s not pretend that we didn’t already know that climate change would be really, really bad. This feigned ignorance can in no way excuse decades of inaction. Vulnerable countries have understood the severity of the crisis for a very long time. If this report is what finally gets you to join our side, then welcome,” Remengesau said in a statement.

He said the world has a big fight ahead of them to stem the dangerous impact of climate change.

The report says the planet will reach the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030.

The report said global warming would mean more heatwaves and hot summers, sea level rise, droughts, and rainfall extremes.

Pacific island nations have long fought for developed nations to recognize that an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius would severely worsen the challenges facing “the most vulnerable smaller island states of the Pacific” and has repeatedly pleaded wealthy countries to cut their carbon emissions and stay within the global temperature goal.

He said it is now up to the leaders to make the changes needed and to take action to reverse the impact of climate change. (Bernadette H. Carreon)