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Youth makes Pacific voice heard at COP24

December 23, 2018 5:30 pm

It’s vital that the voices of Pacific Islanders are heard on the global stage when it comes to climate change and the voices of our youth are equally important.

21-year old, Litia Baleilevuka took Fiji’s youth’s struggles of climate change to world leaders at the Conference of Parties 24 in Poland last month.

Baleilevuka was given this opportunity through the Greenpeace Pacific Island Represent.

An organisation which calls out hypocrisy of world leaders and they lack of climate leadership.

During the course of two weeks, Baleilevuka and other youth climate activists made videos to raise awareness.

“The one thing that was evident during the talks were that many countries failed to keep their promises. We called out countries that were saying one thing and doing another. Countries like Poland the host country and Australia who claims to be a friend of the Pacific.”

Baleilevuka claims many developed countries are failing to walk the talk.

“To ask these developed countries to stop doing what they’ve been doing for years is challenging but then we have to question ourselves whether to stop them and go into renewable energy or allow our islands and countries to completely disappear.”

The twenty-one-year-old also praised Fiji’s leadership at the climate talks.

“Through these discussions our Pacific Leaders are going as equals. it’s no longer a narrative of victim and who we are blaming but it’s become like a partnership – what we can do together to combat climate change.”

The reality of climate change is no surprise to us at home but the importance of getting world leaders to understand is vital as the IPCC report reveals we only have 12 years to act.

There’s hope that youth like Baleilevuka who call out world leaders on their lack of climate leadership while ambition will make a difference.