The risks created by climate change are well known. The unfortunate fact is that climate change is real. When the majority of respected and leading science institutions say that climate change is happening, I believe that we have a problem.
From a young person’s perspective, I do not want to inherit a world that is torn apart by an issue that could have been minimized if we all took action. I don’t want a world that is destroyed by inaction and pointless bickering. If we continue to do nothing, or not enough, we will all be living in a world that could have been prevented. Inaction will tear our world apart.
The Pacific region is a perfect place to study both how climate change is affecting us now and which strategies we can employ to fight it. The Small Islands Developing States conference this year, in Samoa, will confront the issues surrounding climate change in the Pacific and discuss strategies that can be used to help Pacific islands cope. The crucial part is taking quick, targeted action.
Watch this video to learn more about climate challenges in the Pacific region
The Pacific region is a great starting point, but it has to be a global effort. We’ve got to invest in sustainable agriculture and sustainable energy, we need to make our cities more efficient and eco-friendly, we need a price on carbon, and we all need to contribute.
Some strategies are already being implemented, like climate-smart agriculture techniques that can also maximize the potential of each harvest. With more than 9 billion people expected to occupy the planet in 2050, food production will have to increase and we will have to reduce the amount of food wasted and lost. Not every strategy will work universally; separate strategies need to be and have been developed for each region and country to maximize their effectiveness.
Implementing these technologies and practices will carry a cost, but it will be a lot more expensive later if we don’t act now. Without action, people, communities and economies will suffer. The information is staring us in the face. We know the facts, we know the risks, yet many of us continue to do nothing about it. Why? Often, it is because we are still debating whether climate change is happening or reluctant to shoulder the responsibility to do something about it.
, but it is worth the effort if we can avoid a world where weather is more severe and lives more desperate. The nations in the Pacific islands region have accepted this responsibility and are devising and implementing solutions to save their way of life. It is easy for others to turn deaf ears on our neighbors’ cries and our environment. Why should we care about climate change when we don’t believe it will directly affect us for another 20 years or more?
We made the problem, so we have a duty to be part of the solution. We have a duty to our future generations, so they can enjoy the same privileges, food and water security, and fresh air that we have. Action to mitigate climate change has taken place both in the Pacific and around the world, but there is not enough. Inaction will be our biggest killer. It’s your choice. It’s everyone’s future.
Learn more about how the World Bank helps countries adapt to the effects of climate change.