Suva, Fiji – April 23, 2020: 1pm (350 Media): Online celebrations and mobilisation to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day were held in the Pacific yesterday, with this yearâ€™s theme of â€˜Climate Action,â€™ admirably led by those who are least responsible for the climate crisis.
Despite restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pacific Climate Warriors have strategically chosen to amplify their call for urgent and ambitious action at every level online, flooding social media platforms with one key message: Stop the fossil fuel industry from wreaking more havoc on already disadvantaged communities in the Pacific.
Fenton Lutunatabua, 350 Pacific Managing Director, said we are all part of an intricate ecosystem where humans and nature rely on each other to thrive.
“The planet is telling us that human greed is the problem – it is healing with less industrial activity and less pollution since the COVID-19 pandemic has placed restrictions on the movement of people and business operations,” Mr Lutunatabua said.
“But we didnâ€™t need a pandemic to tell us that our planet was suffering – the signs have been there for years now. Severe air pollution, rising sea levels and more frequent, intense storms are signs that have been evident for years.”
He said each one of us is critical to maintaining the balance in nature by taking climate action.
“We need to make responsible choices when it comes to the companies we support, the products we buy and the activities we carry out daily. The best place to start is by learning more about the science behind the climate crisis and the responsibility that all sectors hold in addressing the issue,” Mr Lutunatabua said.
“We need to heed the science and take rapid steps towards transitioning away from fossil-fuelled societies to one that is built on clean energy, which will benefit both humans and the planet.
“To respond during these uncertain times requires a system change. We need to build social systems that support communities to become self-sustaining in moments of crises, especially when the government is not in a position to respond.”
He said people have the ability to take back the power to reshape our global economies to be built on principles to:
- Put peopleâ€™s health first, no exceptions.
- Provide economic relief directly to the people.
- Help our workers and communities, not corporate executives.
- Create resilience for future crises.
- Build solidarity and community across borders â€“ do not empower authoritarians.â€
“To encourage individuals to take urgent climate action, even during a time when social distancing restrictions are in effect, the Pacific Climate Warriors encourage individuals to take the first step by learning how the fossil fuel industry is directly contributing to the climate crisis, and in turn causing the destruction of Pacific Island nations,” he added.