Vanuatu’s parliament has announced a climate emergency, with the Prime Minister estimating a cost of $1.2 billion to mitigate the effects of global warming on his small Pacific nation. According to reports, the archipelago’s 300,000 inhabitants have been impacted by two powerful cyclones and a devastating drought in the last decade.
Prime Minister Bob Loughman stated in a speech to parliament that the Pacific region is already being affected by the rising sea levels and extreme weather events.
While emphasising Vanuatu’s current situation, he told lawmakers that the country is already too warm and a little secure.
On Friday, the motion was unanimously supported by the parliament, and numerous countries followed by similar declarations, including the United Kingdom, South Pacific neighbour Fiji, and Cadan. Loughman explained that the country’s responsibility is to motivate Vanuatu to take action in proportion to the scale and urgency of the crisis.
“The use of the term emergency indicates the need to go beyond restructuring as usual,” he said.
The declaration was made as part of a “climate diplomacy push” ahead of a United Nations (UN) vote on his government’s request for the International Court of Justice to intervene to protect vulnerable countries from climate change.
Last year, the nation of 300,000 people announced that it would seek a legal opinion on environmental issues from one of the world’s highest judicial authorities. Though the court’s legal opinion would not be final, Vanuatu hopes that it would shape international law on climate change’s damage, loss, and human rights implications for future generations.
Vanuatu’s expanded commitment to the Paris agreement, which aims to be completed by 2030 and will cost around $1,2 billion, includes mitigating its effects, covering damage, and developing a drought plan primarily focused on climate change adaptation.
Donor countries would provide the major funding
Penny Wong, Australia’s new foreign affairs minister, used a tour to Fiji this week to promise Pacific nations a climate policy reset following a “lost decade” under conservative rule.
At a Pacific Island Forum event, Wong stated that she would end the country’s climate war. There is a new Australian government in place and a new Australia. The government is with the Pacific family in this crisis.
The climate crisis is hitting Vanuatu’s economy hard
In 2015, a single cyclone destroyed roughly 64% of the country’s GDP, resulting in economic losses of nearly $450 million.
Against the backdrop of rising sea temperatures, intense cyclones, and erratic weather patterns, Vanuatu considered legal action against large hydrocarbon polluters thousands of kilometres away in 2019.
Tropical Cyclone Harold hit Vanuatu in April 2020, destroying tourist resorts in another South Pacific island nation, Tonga, and leaving a weeklong trail of destruction across four island nations, killing over two dozen people.
Climate Change Effects
Scientists and experts are confident that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades, owing primarily to greenhouse gases emitted by human activity.
Over 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries make up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which predicts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.
The proportions of climate change effects on individual countries and regions, according to the IPCC, will differ over time and with the preparedness of different societal and environmental systems to mitigate or adapt to change. According to the IPCC, a rise in global mean temperature of less than 1.8 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 to 3 degrees Celsius, above 1990 levels will have a positive impact in some regions but a negative impact in others. As global temperatures rise, the net annual costs will rise.
IPCC writes that the current evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to rise over time.
According to scientists, climate change is the most serious global health threat of the twenty-first century. It is a threat that affects all of us, particularly the elderly, children, minorities and low-income communities, in a variety of direct and indirect ways. As temperatures rise, so do the number of illnesses, emergency room visits, and deaths.
Rising temperatures exacerbate air pollution by continuing to increase ground-level ozone smog, which is formed when pollution from automobiles, industrial plants, and other sources reacts to sunlight and heat. The key part of smog is ground-level ozone, and the hotter it gets, the more of it there is. Dirtier air has been linked to higher hospital admission rates and death rates for asthmatics. It exacerbates the condition of people suffering from cardiovascular or pulmonary disease. Warmer temperatures also increase airborne pollen, which is bad news for people who have hay fever or other allergies.
About Climate Change
The long-term change that is observed in weather patterns and temperature is referred to as “climate change.” These shifts may be organic, but human activities have been the primary driver of climate change since the 1800s, owing primarily to the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas, which emit heat-trapping gases.