Former Miss Solomon urges Pacific-UK leaders to step up on climate change

Habu, top, with the leaders during the dialogue.

Former Miss Solomon Islands Gladys Habu has urged the UK-Pacific High Level Climate Dialogue leaders to step up climate action and take it with utter seriousness.

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Habu was this week chosen to represent Pacific Youth at the UK-Pacific High Level Climate Dialogue hosted by COP26 President Rt Hon Alok Sharma.

As guest speaker for the session called the “Voice of today and tomorrow” Habu was given the opportunity to address the UK COP 26 President, Prime Ministers, Presidents and Honourable Ministers of Pacific Island countries, CROP agency representatives (from Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, South Pacific Commission & Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme) as well as various other distinguished Pacific leaders and UK representatives.

“I am calling on each respective Pacific Island country to prioritise the climate crisis by declaring it a climate emergency,” she said.

Habu adds: “This declaration will be symbolic of your national commitment to my generation. If we claim this climate crisis is costing us our future. We need to take urgent action now by acknowledging it as a serious threat to our islands.”

She was also advocated for increased representation of Pacific Island climate youth leaders at COP26, close collaboration between UK government & other international allies to ensure member countries comply to the Paris Agreement accordingly, and for increased institutional support with regards to preparing country proposals to access international climate finance.

Habu thanked the COP 26 President for bringing the Pacific together in this significant discussion and for expressing UK’s commitment to ensuring the Pacific voice is heard in Glasgow later this year and beyond.

The dialogue was made possible by the UK Government in collaboration with Wilton Park and CROP agencies (i.e PIFS, SPC and SPREP).

Speaking about her experience in addressing the meeting, Habu said in all honesty, it wasn’t easy entering a room full of very powerful Pacific leaders, as the only youth representative.

“However, it was an experience that was worth every word I shared and I do hope that our Pacific leaders unite together in this fight,” she said.

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