President Surangel Whipps Jr. said big emitters might as well drop a “bomb” in the Pacific as the refusal of big emitters to take radical action on the climate crisis is making small vulnerable island nations suffer more.
“Frankly speaking, there is no dignity to a slow and painful death you might as well bomb our islands instead of making us suffer only to witness our slow and fateful demise,” Whipps said during the second day of the leader’s climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
Whipps is one of the four Pacific leaders who made it to COP 26 amid COVID-19 hurdles.
The president also called on world leaders to increase the developed nations’ $100 billion climate finance pledge to $4 trillion.
He said the climate reality is that the Pacific is already drowning and devastated by rising seas and global warming.
“We see the scorching sun is giving us intolerable heat, the warming sea is invading us, the strong winds are blowing us every which way, our resources are disappearing before our eyes and our future is being robbed from us,” Whipps added.
The president also told the story of the Palauan legend Uab to the world leaders depicting the climate crisis.
Uab was a boy who grew into a giant that wouldn’t stop growing due to his unruly appetite. The whole island community was forced to feed him. Uab’s feeding depleted all the natural resources, and finally, he threatened to eat his people. To save themselves the villages banded together, took bold action and set fire to him,” he said.
He urged world leaders to be accountable to the plight of the smaller nations.
The president said Palau expects the set of rules guiding the implementation of the Paris Agreement to be finalized as a priority outcome of COP26
The president also urged the formal integration of the ocean into the UNFCCC process.
Polluters must pay
Dr. Pa’olelei Luteru, chair of the Pacific Small Islands Developing States (PSIDS told reporters via a virtual press briefing on Wednesday said that President Whipps’s message touched on climate justice and fulfill the world leaders obligation of climate finance.
“President of Palau spoke on the obligation placed on the major emitters and polluters to take responsibility and fulfill the approval obligation that they have made, whether it’s in 1.5, emission, finance, etc..” he said.
From the Pacific, Dr. Luteru said it was to see the goal of 1.5 degrees celsius within reach. And new money for climate finance for the vulnerable nations.
“We need to stay within the 1.5. Because I think, you know, if we let go of that, it’s gonna be very difficult to turn it around,” he said.