Video: Mary Robinson addresses Pacific Islands Climate Panel

Equitable and ambitious action must be taken on tackling the crisis of climate change, Mary Robinson told the Panel of Experts on Climate Leadership, Marshall Islands.

Equitable and ambitious action must be taken in order to avoid reaching a tipping point where people will no longer be able to adapt to the dramatic changes in climate, Mary Robinson told delegate via video message at the Panel of Experts on Climate Leadership in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The panel, held on the eve of the 44th Pacific Islands Forum, brought together the world’s leading speakers on climate change to share their ideas with leaders attending the Forum, which began the following day, 3rd September, and ran to 6th September.

Among the other panellists joining Mary Robinson in the discussion were Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action. US Secretary of State John Kerry also contributed via video message.

In her contribution, Mrs Robinson pointed to an equity tool or framework and the UN Security Council providing a high-level platform for leadership on climate justice as two ideas that can highlight the link between the security impacts of climate change and equity, while acknowledging the urgency for an equitable and ambitious global climate deal that realises the devastating consequences of inaction for the world’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Our global efforts must collectively reach the required targets of sufficiently reducing carbon emissions, while prioritising sustainable alternatives. For too long developed countries have waited to see how far others will go before acting on their own commitments. This is not acceptable.

“That is why I support the idea of an equity tool or framework. This would enable countries to assess the adequacy and fairness of their own and other countries’ contributions to tackle the climate crisis.”

Mrs Robinson later added: “Climate change needs to be elevated to the highest levels of political decision making – in keeping with the magnitude of the challenge it poses.  This is why I call upon the UN Security Council to further its work on climate change and provide a high level platform for leadership on climate justice.

“No longer is climate change a sideline issue that can be compartmentalised into the work of designated bodies. The lives of too many people are at stake.  That is why the Security Council must recognise the threat to human security and adopt a rights-based approach to tackling the crisis, before it is too late.”

In order to carry forward the key message from the Pacific Islands Forum, the Government of the Marshall Islands has proposed a Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership as the meeting’s signature outcome, both showcasing the Pacific’s own commitments and aspirations, while spurring and capturing more ambitious actions by others going forward.

Related Links:
Our Work: Equity and Climate Justice

Declaration for Climate Leadership website

Read Mary Robinson’s message to the Panel of Experts on Climate Leadership