7 Nov 2019

US will lose Pacific influence over Paris decision - Forum

12:14 pm on 7 November 2019

The US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement will undermine its influence and credibility in the Pacific, the Pacific Islands Forum chair says.

"As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country," Trump said.

Mr Trump made withdrawing from the 2015 agreement one of his campaign pledges - but UN rules have meant it was not possible for the US to start the withdrawal process until 4 November, 2019. Photo: SAUL LOEB / AFP

Tuvalu Prime Minister and Forum chair, Kausea Natano, said America used to play a leadership role in supporting multi-lateralism and promoting a global rules-based system.

Mr Natano said it was "disappointing" to see that ethos fade and falter when the world needed it most.

As per the Forum's Kainaki II Declaration, the shared prosperity of the Blue Pacific continent could only safely exist if the international community pursued efforts to limit warming to 1.5°celsius, as set out in the Paris Agreement, he said.

The prime minister of Tuvalu, Kausea Natano.

The prime minister of Tuvalu, Kausea Natano. Photo: Supplied / Government of Tuvalu

The science was non-negotiable, he said.

Tuvalu was in the frontline of the climate fight, and as a country it had contributed the least to global emissions, but it was still doing its part to implement the Paris agreement and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

He urged those countries involved to listen to the voice of the Blue Pacific, respect its collective will and support its stewardship of the great Oceanic continent.