People's Declaration for Climate Justice
Port Vila, Vanuatu
Date: 8 June 2015
We, the people of Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Fiji, Solomon Islands and the Philippines continue to experience the impacts of climate change - the single biggest human rights, environmental and humanitarian crisis of our time. It has claimed thousands of lives, displaced millions of people, damaged livelihoods, and caused a severe economic toll in relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.
The burning of fossil fuels by big polluters has been found to be primarily responsible for emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases. The concentration of said gases, especially carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes climate change. An estimated 25-30% of the carbon dioxide emitted by these activities was absorbed by the oceans, causing ocean acidification.
As the people most acutely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, we will not let the big polluters decide and assign our fate. Our rights and ability to survive must not be dictated by the continued addiction to the burning of fossil fuels. We refuse to accept the "new normal" and demand for climate justice by holding the big polluters and their respective governments to account for their contribution to the climate crisis. Our people and our environment must be preserved for the generations to come.
We are from island states in shared oceans. We stand in solidarity.
We commit to holding those most responsible for climate change accountable. By doing so, we send a message of hope that the people and not the polluters are in charge of humanity's destiny.
We commit to bring a case that would investigate the human rights implications of climate change and hold the big carbon polluters accountable to appropriate international bodies or processes.