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UN secretary general stresses global climate inaction on South Pacific tour


UN secretary general stresses global climate inaction on South Pacific tour

Photo: Reuters

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will arrive in Vanuatu today as part of a tour of the Pacific region, where he is expected to stress the need to do more to combat climate change.

Global carbon emissions have started to rise since the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, inching closer to the accord’s goal of keeping increases in average global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Pacific island nations such as Vanuatu, Fiji and Tuvalu are already experiencing a higher frequency of extreme weather caused by changes in the global climate and are regularly inundated by rising tides. The UN chief will push for global leaders to outline a clear timetable for transitioning to emissions free energy by 2050 at the absolute latest, but little is expected to come of this.

The Pacific climate crisis has also highlighted the diverging approaches of regional heavyweights Australia and New Zealand. In a region where most Pacific nations are dependent on foreign aid, their geopolitical priorities may become increasingly linked to how certain countries act on climate change globally.

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