UnitingWorld Calls for Solidarity with Pacific Partners at Copenhagen

In response to the concerns voiced by the delegation from Tuvalu at the UN Copenhagen Conference yesterday, UnitingWorld asks Uniting Church members to stand in solidarity with our Partner Churches throughout the Pacific who are facing possible relocation due to rising sea levels.

The delegation from Tuvalu voiced concerns that agreements arising from the conference would not be effective as stringent binding agreements applying equally to developing nations.

This was backed by delegations from Fiji and Cook Islands.

When the Tuvalu delegation became aware that their views could be sidelined, they walked out of negotiations.

Chair of the Tuvalu Climate Action Network (TuCAN) and Program Secretary of the Department of Peace and Justice for the Tuvalu Christian Church Rev Tafue Lusama said the time for finger pointing is over.

“Climate change has become a matter of life and death for us, and we need to make sure the whole world, developed and developing, act to solve the problem,” Mr Lusama said.

“I believe that what Tuvalu is proposing is what has been referred to as a fair, coherent and equitable legally binding treaty.”

UnitingWorld Associate Director of Church Solidarity (Pacific) Bruce Mullan also supports the Tuvalu delegation at Copenhagen in standing their ground on this issue.

“It’s vital that some agreement is reached on emission-reducing schemes to stop rising sea levels. Anything less could have huge impact on the small island nations,” said Mr Mullan.

“Sea levels need only rise a few metres before the Tuvalu and Kiribati would need to look at large-scale population relocation.

“This is on top of risks already posed by increasingly erratic weather patterns,” said Mr Mullan.

UnitingWorld asks members of the Uniting Church in Australia and the community at large to contact their local parliamentary members and political leaders and remind them that it is our friends in the Pacific who will experience great suffering if the Conference doesn’t find some agreement to mitigate climate impact.

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