“Why? Because it is your future ultimately at stake in this campaign. There is no force mightier than your courageous advocacy and justifiable angst in demanding action from the leaders of the world.â€
He told Belyndar Rikimani, Maryann Puia, and Willy Missack he was â€œnot only proud to stand with each of you in this campaign, I am proud to lead a nation backing your demands for action with climate-conscious development; slashing our emissions while building an inclusive and resilient economy.â€
Bainimarama detailed Fijiâ€™s ambitions and actions towards a green, clean economy as part of keeping global warming to a 1.5 degree limit, saying those governments falling â€œshort of robust climate action are not only failing the global community and the coming generations, they are denying their own people.â€
Other Pacific leaders echoing the call on young climate activists to carry the message at the worldâ€™s 25th annual negotiations meeting on climate included Tokelauâ€™s Ulu Kelihiano Kalolo, Niueâ€™s Minister for Natural Resources Dalton Tagelagi– whose own country delegation is led by Youth for climate activists, and Samoaâ€™s Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations, Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia.
In their responses, the climate youth speakers were clear on the need for resourcing and commitment, calling on leaders to go beyond lip service and pursue meaningful engagement with Pacific youth.
In earlier sessions, SPREPâ€™s Tagaloa Cooper-Halo Â said thereâ€™s a need for youth activists wanting to take their leadership to the next level, to allow their â€˜humble beginningsâ€™ to shape their future professionalism in the field, â€œso that the opportunities you have in online platforms picks up the right attentionâ€ for their efforts.
She said the new Pacific Climate Change Centre (at SPREP HQ in Apia) offers more opportunities for young climate activists to deepen engagement, partnerships and innovation.