Speaking after his attendance at last week’s Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu where climate change was high on the agenda, President Waqa said Nauru was highly vulnerable to the impacts of global warming.
“Climate change is a very important topic for all the Pacific Islands, especially Nauru where we need to future-proof the coast,” President Waqa said.
“More than 90 per cent of Nauruans live on the coastal fringe, and all the country’s critical infrastructure is on the coast – including schools, the hospital, government buildings, police headquarters, the airport and the majority of businesses.
“I believe last week’s Pacific Islands Forum meeting brought all the Pacific Island nations together even tighter, when it comes to combating climate change.
“We’ve been fighting for urgent action to reduce carbon emissions because climate change is the greatest existential threat to our islands.
“Now we are pushing even harder for the international community – especially those big economies not paying enough attention to this growing problem – to sit up and take note and react in a positive way to this emergency.
“We will continue to highlight our concerns – to ensure the climate impacts being faced by all Nauruans are addressed.”
President Waqa said the Government was working with other countries to help build Nauru’s climate change resilience.
“Scientists are warning that the situation will get much worse unless the greenhouse gas pollution responsible for global warming is reduced,” he said.
“Our ability to find a solution to this growing crisis will depend on the choices we make now.
“We will continue to raise our concerns with world leaders because we need to implement change immediately – to protect and prioritise our present and future generations,” he said
Photo PIFS Media Caption: Nauru President Baron Waqa at the Forum leaders meeting in Tuvalu