The Blue Economy: First World Treaty to Ban Fossil Fuels in Pacific Islands in View


Can the concept of the Blue Economy be more aspirational?

Following a summit in the Solomon Islands last week, a proposed Pacific Climate Treaty is in the works which would bind signatories to goals for renewables and ban new or the expansion of coalmines.

Climate change threatening Pacific island nations such as the Solomon Islands is to be tackled head-on by the world’s first international treaty banning or phasing out fossil fuels. 14 country leaders agreed to consider the proposition at the annual leaders’ summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF).

Mahendra Kumar, climate change advisor to PIDF says making the new law a success, would be a reflection on Leaders, an avenue where the Pacific could again show or build on the moral and political leadership that they’ve shown earlier in their efforts to tackle climate change.

The PIDF wants to adopt the Paris Agreement 1.5C target and install policies to help the achievement of the goals with mitigation targets and adaptation mechanisms to cope with global warming.

The proposed treaty, which was written by the group of non-governmental organisations called the Pacific Island Climate Action Network (PICAN), will be studied and a report will be presented at the 2017 summit. Hopefully, the treaty could be ratified in 2018.

Joeteshna Gurdayal Zenos, acting head of Pacfic Net, which is Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s climate justice project, said: “Pacific island leaders are among the most proactive in the world on global warming because their countries are bearing the brunt of climate changes… Their willingness to consider a Pacific climate treaty shows much-needed leadership on the world’s most pressing environmental challenge.”

The treaty would also involve sections on climate-related migrations and adaptation and install a fund to compensate for communities that have suffered from climate change.

“Blue Economy” is marine-based economic development that leads to improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. It looks at what is needed, from a policy perspective, to bring to life a more sustainable ocean economy.

A wide assortment of thinking bears on the blue economy, and it is a sure sign of progress that many countries are now adopting or exploring sustainable frameworks for their ocean economies.

The treaty will be a pace- setter for the rest of the world as there is currently no treaty that bans or phases out fossil fuels.


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