The Chilean Government has announced the suspension of the UN Climate Summit (COP25), scheduled to take place in Santiago this December, due to the social demonstrations protesting rising costs, debt and inequality, and marred by heavy-handed arrests from state forces in the past weeks. Pacific Regional Managing Director, Fenton Lutunatabua issued the following statement:

“This is a timely announcement that serves as a reminder that we don’t need a high level event to address the critical issues of social inequality, disrespect for human rights and economies that prioritize profits over people – issues that continue to be ignored. What’s needed is accountability to commitments which have been agreed to at every COP before this, and not shift the focus to events. The climate crisis needs to be addressed regardless of the suspension of COP25 in Santiago – the sea levels will not retreat nor will they wait for the next meeting while heads of states re-look at alternatives.”

Pacific Islands Climate Action Network Coordinator, Genevieve Jiva said:

“This is the time to re-centre the conversation so that it focuses on those communities at the frontline of climate impacts. The suspension of COP at a particular location should not halt the ability of these critical discussions to progress. If the Global Climate Strikes illustrated one thing, it is that the power of public participation is calling for rapid change, and the UN needs to heed the voices of Pacific Island people who are most affected by climate change,” she said

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