SI youth advocate on climate change fight


RODERICK Holness Rollands, a dedicated advocate for climate change in the Solomon Islands, is calling on countries in the global North to take decisive action against climate change, reduce carbon emissions, and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Rollands made this impassioned plea during his presentation at the 19th Regional Meeting (Pacific Region) of the Asia Caribbean Pacific-European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly in the Solomon Islands Parliament yesterday.

Under the theme ‘Small Island Developing States in the Pacific – Perspectives on Climate Change,’ Rollands conveyed the urgent and existential threat that climate change poses to the Pacific Islands.

These nations are on the frontline of the climate crisis, facing immense challenges, including severe tropical cyclones, flash floods, drought, loss of critical infrastructure, climate-induced displacement, resettlements, and loss of lives.

He described the rising sea levels as “silent invaders,” engulfing ancestral lands and homes, tearing apart communities that have thrived for generations.

Rollands also highlighted the increasing frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones, the bleaching and lifelessness of the vibrant oceans, and the heart-wrenching goodbyes as families are forced to leave their homes, no longer habitable.

Rollands acknowledged the ongoing efforts of Pacific Island nations, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders in calling for greater action, ambition, and accountability in climate change forums and negotiations.

He commended the countries that stand in solidarity with the Pacific Islands, especially those also on the frontlines of climate impacts.

Despite their efforts in adaptation and mitigation measures, Rollands emphasized the challenges faced by the Pacific Island nations.

These challenges include geographical isolation of vulnerable communities, lack of climate finance, limited resources, and insufficient accurate data and tools to support vulnerable communities in responding to climate impacts.

On the issue of loss and damage, Rollands expressed appreciation for the Pacific leaders’ efforts to push for mechanisms like the loss and damage financial facility, which was endorsed during the 26th Conference of the Parties. However, he raised concerns about the financing of such mechanisms.

He pointed out that climate finance for the Pacific Islands remains inadequate, with only a tiny fraction of global funds reaching the region.

“Accessing climate finance, such as the Green Climate Fund, is complex and challenging, particularly for community-based organizations, NGOs, and stakeholders working in the climate space.

“This hinders efforts to advance adaptation, mitigation, and resilience in vulnerable communities,” he said.

Rollands also acknowledged the initiative led by the Vanuatu government, which seeks an authoritative and coherent statement on the obligation of states to respond effectively to climate change and to place human rights at the center of climate discussions.

He highlighted the importance of integrity and accountability in the climate change dialogue.

Rollands represented the Solomon Islands Climate Action Network in partnership with regional civil societies and NGOs.

He called upon the leaders at the assembly to recognize the urgency of the situation and emphasized the need for united action as they prepare for COP 28.

The 28th United Nations Climate Change conference, will be held from November 30 until December 12, 2023, at the Expo City, Dubai.

He stressed that addressing climate change requires collective efforts from governments, businesses, communities, and individuals and urged immediate action, as time is running out.

Discover more from Theislandsun

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading