“Extreme storms and floods continue to destroy our crops, homes, and infrastructure. Just last Monday, we were hit with a storm ripping off roofs and damaging infrastructure. Sea levels are rising, eating away at our coastlines and inundating our taro patches and farms — impacting food security,” President Surangel Whipps Jr. expressed in his speech at the 27th Conference on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Urging countries that committed to keeping the planet’s climate below 1.5 degrees to keep to their commitments and promises, Whipps used Palau’s examples to show the impacts of climate change on the people and the economy.

“The extreme heat this summer killed over 30 million beautiful, non-stinging jellyfish in our world-renowned Jellyfish Lake. This is the 3rd known event. It also occurred in 1997 and 2017. Each time they disappeared for two years. As one of our star attractions, we risk losing a critical component of our tourism industry, further decimating our economy,” added Whipps.

Furthermore, he urged, “this reality underscores our urgent call today, for all States to do what’s needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. We should no longer be held hostage to fossil fuels. Let’s not let the war in Ukraine serve as an excuse for us to backslide on our commitment to transitioning to renewable energy.”

Climate change problems and solutions are everyone’s responsibilities, asserted Whipps, calling for the inclusion of Taiwan in the UN Convention.

“This must include the 23 million Taiwanese excluded from participating in UN conventions. Taiwan, like all of us, has contributed to the problem. However, they are committed to also being part of the solution. They actively support other countries’ climate aspirations while moving toward net-zero emissions by 2050.”

 “We share one ocean and one atmosphere. We must all share the responsibility to find innovative solutions and commit to changing our behaviors,” stated Whipps. (By: L.N. Reklai)

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