In response to the draft text released last night at COP28, the following comments can be attributed to Shiva Gounden, Head of Pacific at Greenpeace Australia Pacific:

“The draft text is simply not good enough. World leaders can not say that they are listening to the science and committed to keeping 1.5 alive, but failing to commit to any firm action towards fossil fuel phase out.

“At COP28, we witness the grotesque theatre of nations like Saudi Arabia and the US clinging to fossil fuel interests and suffocating global progress toward a crucial phaseout. The desperation of millions facing cyclones, sinking nations and relentless suffering is dismissed in favour of bolstering the already bloated profits of the coal, oil and gas industries. 

“Securing a fossil fuel phase out is the first, second and third priority for Pasifika people. You have people negotiating a tweak to a paragraph or a single word in a text when our islands are literally sinking.

“This process is about us — this is about our people, Pacific Islanders, having to negotiate about the survival of our islands, survival of our cultures and survival of our people and climate vulnerable people across the world. Polluters, including Australia, have a moral and ethical responsibility both historically and currently to pay for the climate destruction they have caused.

“As a Pacific islander, and on behalf of Pasifika people, we demand that world leaders at this COP prioritise people and put aside short term thinking. We demand a rapid transition away from fossil fuels.

“Yet, amidst this bleak backdrop, flames of hope flicker. We will not give up our pursuit of climate justice. Despite the odds stacked against us, we stand unwavering, continuing the battle for a safe and sustainable future. Every day our calls for justice grow louder.”