Civil societies have urged the regional meeting of energy and transport ministers meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu to have an outcome that was more inclusive of civil society, women, youth, and indigenous communities.
Flora Vano, representing ActionAid Vanuatu and the Vanuatu Climate Action Network said witnessing the twin cyclones that devastated her country left her worried “about the future we leave to our children and future generations”.
“While the people of Vanuatu demonstrated the kind of resilience common among our Pacific Island peoples in the aftermath of this dual climate-induced disaster, we are still in recovery. While the leaves are returning to the trees in Port Vila, we remain mindful of the cost that our people and our communities continue to bear, as a result of delayed action.
“As you deliberate over the next few days, it is our resounding call as civil society that you secure the highest ambitions for our people and communities, through a deep, rapid and sustained emissions reduction in the energy and transportation sectors,” Ms Vano said.
Civil societies have called on the 5th Regional Energy and Transport Ministers Meeting to have a stronger commitment like the Port Vila Call to Action for a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific adding that addressing the threat of climate change by transitioning away from fossil fuels is not only economically sensible but is morally imperative.
“Just today, a chief from Aneituym spoke to me, and he said that the sea has taken away everything and left them only with stones and rocks. He went on further to say that they had a plan, and climate change took it away. They had a plan B and again climate change took it away. How many plans will it take before we act?” Ms Varo stressed.
“Our communities are the backbone of our economies and social structures, and the custodians of our natural resources. They are the ones who feel the brunt of the damaging effects of carbon emissions and are also the ones who define and uphold resilience in the face of whatever challenge we face. Achieving true, sustainable development is not possible without them, and certainly not possible without us – the civil society.”