Climate change caused eight deaths and wiped $172 million from Fiji’s economy in 2018, according to a report by climate advocacy group Germanwatch.
“It’s beyond doubt that climate change is exacerbating extreme weather events around the world but the impacts are particularly acute in the Pacific,” Nilesh Prakash, Head of Climate Change & International Cooperation from the Fijian Government said.
“While Fiji was among the most climate-damaged nations in 2018, this should serve as a red flag for the entire region and the world. The climate crisis, caused by coal, is already wreaking havoc on low-lying islands but the worst impacts are still to come unless world leaders at COP25 prioritise lives instead of the profits of the fossil fuel industry.”
The Global Climate Risk Index 2020 again showed that less developed countries are the most adversely affected by climate change but developed nations are not immune. According to the report, Japan was the nation most devastated by climate change in 2018, while Germany and Japan were also in the top 10.
“Countries like Germany, Japan and Canada, who think they can escape the impacts of their own excessive emissions need to think again. We in the Pacific are the human faces of climate change at the moment but as we are beginning to witness, we will all be the faces of this crisis soon,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Head of Pacific Joseph Moeono-Kolio said.
“Carbon pollution doesn’t stop at national borders, everyone is affected. The impacts of climate change will be most severe for those who pollute the least. The pitiful commitments by governments to cut emissions must be ramped-up to match the reality of the climate impacts that affect us all.”
“Australia is equally culpable for exacerbating the crisis because of the amount of coal it is both burning and exporting. The Pacific is a direct recipient of the destruction that Australia is exporting.”