People with disabilities need to be the center of climate action talks

Without the voice of people with disabilities on our climate action plans, there will be no urgency, Archbishop of the Catholic Church, Reverend Peter Loy Chong said during the launch of a climate change report in Suva today.

Speaking during the launch of the report on ‘Disability and Climate Change in the Pacific’, Archbishop Loy Chong says it is the voices of people living with disabilities that matter in the fight against the devastating impacts of climate change.

“It’s the voices of these people are the missing voice that needs to get into the center, unless these voices get into the center, we need to make a big noise because we need them to get the attention of the people from the other side, their voices are important because without them there’s no urgency,” he said.

Archbishop Loy Chong said all COP meeting discussions had missed out on this key component.

“Right now, in the conversations about climate change, even in Fiji when we go to COP, how many vulnerable people do we take to the center of the discussion? How many people are living on the shore experiencing sea level rise?”

The compilation of the report, made possible through the Australian Pacific Climate Partnership in collaboration with the Pacific Disability Forum and relevant stakeholders from the Pacific, was critical and timely as it highlighted the struggles and setbacks caused by climate change on persons with disabilities in the Pacific.

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