New UN report confirms the climate crisis is a cultural crisis for the Pacific

SYDNEY, September 25 2019 - Climate change is driving potentially rapid and irreversible loss of culture for climate-vulnerable communities such as those in the Pacific, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today.

The report finds that the impacts of climate change are already affecting low-lying islands and coasts, with disproportionately higher risks occurring in this century, leading to devastating cultural and community impacts.

“This report clearly articulates that for the Pacific, the climate crisis is a cultural crisis, with sea-level rise, increasing king tides, and storm surges already threatening to wipe out our culture, our food, and our history,” said Greenpeace Head of Pacific, Joseph Moeono-Kolio.

“The Pacific stands with the IPCC’s findings because we are living this reality every day in front of our very eyes.”

The report also finds that rising sea levels will cause the frequency of extreme sea-level events such as king tides to increase, with events that previously only occurred once every one hundred years projected to occur annually.

“For Pacific people, the oceans are a great provider and spiritual source, yet the climate crisis means the ocean has become dangerous, frightening and unpredictable.”

“This is yet another stark warning that as the climate emergency intensifies, Australia and the world needs to take urgent action to tackle coal as the biggest driver of climate change.”

“Just this week, rather than attending the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit where he could be learning from the real climate leaders from the Pacific, Scott Morrison was cosying up to the likes of Trump and coal baron Gina Rinehart.”

“The world’s leaders must listen to the science, pull their fingers out and act now because the Pacific can’t wait.”

Media contact: Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Manager, Nelli Stevenson
+61 428 113 346 (AEST), [email protected]