Pacific leaders raise climate change issue at Leaders Summit

​Pacific leaders at the 10th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders (PICL) have raised several major issues during their meet with US President Barrack Obama in Hawaii.

The conference began on Thursday, Sept 1, with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill Chairing a Special Meeting Of The Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders Standing Committee where key issues on the agenda were finalised.

The number one issue on the minds of Pacific Leaders is climate change,” O’Neill said.

“People and communities in the Pacific are in grave danger and countless lives threatened by extreme weather brought about by climate change and our Leaders are demanding action,” O’Neill said, as the Chair of the Conference.

“President Obama understands the position of Pacific nations and he made this very clear during my last meeting with him in Paris in last December and APEC in November.

“While President Obama is nearing the end of his term, he is still the President and has a great deal of influence in the global community.

“Climate change is no longer solely a political issue, it is now very much a political issue in how we save communities, and an economic issue because this carries great cost.

“The economic cost is not the responsibility of the victims, but is a cost that has to be met by the countries that caused climate change.

“Pacific Island nations greatly appreciate the support that President Obama extends to our people and we look to furthering these discussions.”

O’Neill said there was consensus among Pacific Island nation leaders at the committee that a regular Pacific dialogue with the United States is of great importance for the region.

“The United States is the largest economy in the world, has important trading and historical links and has a great deal to offer our countries in terms of development, technology and trade.

“Regardless of who is the President next January, and in the term after that, we have to maintain strong and open relations.”

Press statement