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Pacific Islands Forum Concludes with Call to Action on Climate Change

© Pacific Islands Forum 6 August 2009: The 40th Pacific Islands Forum convened in Cairns, Australia, from 5-6 August 2009, and concluded with a call by Pacific leaders to action on climate change.

In their Call to Action, Pacific leaders recognize that climate change is the great challenge for Pacific Islands States, and call on world leaders to increase their ambitions ahead of the Copenhagen climate change conference this December and to limit the increase in average global temperatures to two degrees Celsius or less. They also call on States to reduce global emissions by at least 50% below 1990 levels by 2050, and to ensure that global emissions peak no later than 2020. Participants did not set shorter-term targets. They urge developed countries to take the lead in mitigating climate change and to put in place domestic measures to achieve emission reductions targets, and call on major developing economies to commit to ensure a substantial collective reduction below business-as-usual levels by 2020.

Pacific leaders also adopted a series of recommendations for addressing the impacts of climate change by, inter alia: continuing the implementation of the Niue Declaration on Climate Change; developing Pacific-tailored responses to support adaptation and mitigation measures; coordinating regional efforts in the completion and early implementation of the outcomes of the Copenhagen conference; enhancing the resilience of ecological systems and associated biodiversity and providing ecosystem services with a focus on the impacts of climate change; assisting with the assessment called for by the UN General Assembly Resolution A/Res/63/281 Climate Change and its Possible Security Implications; strengthening data collection and analysis for improved climatic monitoring and preparedness; building scientific capacity across the region through strategic partnerships; and building support, with the assistance of regional and international partners, for the new Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food security. [Pacific Islands Forum press release]