An increase in the frequency of extreme weather and climate events and the severity of their effects on the ecosystem and society are already evident in the Pacific, including Fiji.
The rise in catastrophic weather events, according to the Pacific Island Representative Sustainable Ocean Alliance, will seriously harm marine and coastal ecosystems and make low-lying coastal areas more susceptible to storm surges, high tides, and waves.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change synthesis report adds that some climate impacts are already so severe, they cannot be adapted to, leading to losses and damage.
Pacific Island Representative Sustainable Ocean Alliance, Komal Narayan.
Pacific Island Representative Sustainable Ocean Alliance, Komal Narayan, says the impact on vulnerable communities is often irreversible and devastating.
“The issue of sea-level rise is something that will keep accelerating over the years, so many communities will need to be relocated, the impact it has on their livelihoods, the socio-economic status and then again the burden that falls on the national governments or the specific country governments.”
Narayan says the IPCC report offers hope, highlighting pathways to avoid these intensifying risks.
She adds that the report provides a clear path and an indication in terms of what developed countries need to do, how small island developing states will be affected, and the way forward.