As COP21 marks Oceans Day, Pacific Ocean Commissioner says world Leaders must limit warming to less than 1.5 degrees

As Oceans Day is marked by the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris on 4th December, the Pacific Ocean Commissioner says world leaders must set ambitious targets and limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius to save the ocean and vulnerable communities in the Pacific region. “For the sake of our most vulnerable island nations and the oceans on which they depend, the COP21 agreement must limit global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius,” said Dame Meg Taylor, Pacific Ocean Commissioner.

“The ocean, climate and weather are all linked. The impacts of climate change on our ocean are already being felt by many of us.”

“Sea level rise, storm surges, ocean acidification, coral bleaching and cyclones are increasing in intensity and frequency,” the Pacific Ocean Commissioner said.

“Ninety eight per cent of the Pacific Islands Region is ocean and as Pacific Islanders, many aspects of our lives are tied to the sea,” she said.

The Commissioner, who is currently in Paris to attend the climate negotiations, said the people of the Pacific would continue to work together to protect the ocean, their lives and their livelihoods.

“We are strong and we will not give up on our ocean, our homes or our future,” the Pacific Ocean Commissioner said.

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The Pacific Ocean Commissioner is appointed by Pacific Island leaders. The Commissioner’s role is to unite Pacific countries and territories through sustainable ocean management and use across 40 million square kilometres of ocean and islands – an area bigger than the land-mass of China, Canada, USA, India and Australia combined.

The Pacific Ocean Commissioner, Dame Meg Taylor, is also the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

For more information see: http://www.forumsec.org