Almost 16,000 kilometers lie between Glasgow, the world capital of climate change for the next two weeks, and Suva, the capital of Fiji.

But what is being negotiated at the climate conference in Scotland is making headlines in the island nation.

Because any news about global warming is vital for the inhabitants of the sometimes tiny islands in the Pacific, surrounded by huge masses of water.

Christoph Hein

Business correspondent for South Asia / Pacific based in Singapore.

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"Failure (of the conference) could mean the loss of entire low-lying Pacific states," said Frank Bainimarama, Fiji's Prime Minister, setting the bar high. “We're fed up. We want to go ahead and be prepared, not just always react to disasters. We know that every single dollar that strengthens our resilience to climate change saves up to 7 dollars in rebuilding after a disaster, ”says his counterpart from Tuvalu, Kausea Natano. He currently heads the Pacific Island Forum.

The vast Pacific region takes up 15 percent of the earth's surface, but is only inhabited by around 2.6 million people - a continent larger than Africa but less populated than Lithuania. Take Fiji as an example: “It is true that only 900,000 people live on our island. Our economic zone, however, with 1.26 million square kilometers, is more than three times the size of Germany. Kiribati's 32 atolls, which stretch over 4,000 kilometers in northeast Fiji and are home to only 120,000 people, are almost ten times as large with 3.5 million square kilometers of ocean, ”says Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Minister of Economic Affairs of the Republic of Fiji Rightly speaking with the FAZ. "We are allowed to experience the consequences of climate change, which we are particularly hard hit here in the Pacific,not separate from the general economic development, ”he adds. “Some of our islands have already reached middle income levels - but a single catastrophe like a hurricane can make them disappear from the face of the earth. The last cyclone destroyed a third of our annual economic output in 48 hours. "

Everyone should raise their climate goals

Since Fiji chaired the 2017 climate conference, which was organized in Bonn because the island would have been overrun by 20,000 participants, more than one hundred countries have committed to the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Many of the wealthy countries have tightened their targets for 2030 again.

“The bad news, however, is that these commitments are still insufficient.

All countries - especially the developed world and the largest emitters - must commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than the current 50 percent target by 2030, and they must commit to achieving net zero status by 2050, ”he said his boss Bainimarama took the reins.

"All goals have to be increased, all periods of time have to be reduced."

The pressure is well founded: “We are heading for a catastrophic future with rising sea levels, super storms, changed precipitation patterns and ocean acidification.

The future of planet earth is seriously threatened.

Don't come up with excuses.

That time is over. "

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