The Pacific Islands Forum chair has taken aim at global leaders for failing to keep their climate promises.
Mark Brown told the 79th session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok that the Pacific has been grappling with human-induced climate events for far too long.
Brown said the 2015 Paris Agreement was the plan to “ensure the survival of our planet”.
“For the Blue Pacific this represented a monumental leap forward in our fight for climate justice, but regretfully the follow through has been slow and disappointing,” he said.
“The path to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees is escaping our hold.
“The need to build resilience into our strategies and responsive structures is beyond critical.”
Brown, who is also the Cook Islands Prime Minister, told the meeting that access to finance for many countries remains a barrier in fighting climate change.
“The key to accelerating greater ambition to reduce carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate change impacts, and promote sustainable development lies in finance wealth,” he said.
“For many of us here today, access to finance remains a critical barrier to our pursuits to accelerate climate action.”
The Prime Minister said the Pacific’s response to climate change was anchored in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
The strategy was put together in 2019 at the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in Tuvalu that outlined the long-term vision of the region, which included being net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Brown said Pacific nations had one of the smallest carbon footprints but suffered from climate change the most due to its vulnerabilities.
The ESCAP started on Monday and will run until Friday.