Vanuatu’s Climate Justice Campaign is not to seek compensation for financial damages but to ensure climate ambitions are elevated, says Vanuatu’s Climate Diplomatic Task Force

Vanuatu’s Climate Diplomatic Task Force says Vanuatu’s Climate Justice Campaign is not to sue anyone in court, is not to seek climate litigation but to basically ensure climate ambitions are elevated.

Malcolm Dalesa from Vanuatu’s Climate Diplomatic Task Force said the climate justice campaign is not to seek compensation for financial damages.

He said the campaign is to get clarity on climate change negotiations.

In 2021 the Vanuatu Government announced its intention to take on the campaign to seek an International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the issue of climate change and human rights.

Dalesa said Vanuatu is seeking an advisory opinion on the issue of climate change and human rights because it has seen that over the years governments have not been on track to achieving the aim of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions.

“What we’ve seen is that over the years we are not on track to meet that particular goal of limiting global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius that’s required in the Paris Agreement on climate change,” he said.

Dalesa said over the 30 years plus, countries are still failing in terms of how negotiations have been done to cut on greenhouse gas emissions.

Therefore the Vanuatu Government is looking at exploring additional tools to be able to change countries behaviors in ensuring their ambitions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions are taken seriously, he said.

He said the climate crisis is basically a human rights crisis therefore, the Vanuatu Government decided to take the issue to the next level to the International Court of Justice.

Last month, a global alliance of civil society groups, representing over 1500 civil society organizations in 130 countries was launched to support the powerful new climate justice initiative by the Vanuatu Government.

Dalesa said the initiative is not so much about litigation or who wins or who loses but for the International Court of Justice to generate general statements with great authority and symbolic status.

“It will help to enhance the intergradation and clarity of international law of matters of interest with this being, climate change,” he said.

He said in order for Vanuatu to have the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion, it will need a simple majority votes from 97 members of the UN General Assembly.

He said Vanuatu is also seeking support from the Africa-Caribbean Pacific Nations who are in similar status of being vulnerable to climate change.

As part of Vanuatu’s Campaign on Climate Justice, the Vanuatu Government has also requested support from the governments of other Pacific Island Countries to be able to push the resolution to the International Court of Justice.

This story was written by Alrenze Nicky, originally published at Vanuatu Daily Post on 11 June 2022, reposted via PACNEWS.

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