Over the weekend the Pacific Climate Warriors, traveling from several small island nations in the Pacific, joined the People’s Pilgrimage in order to highlight the impacts of climate change in the islands.
The People’s Pilgrimage has brought together a group of pilgrims walking from Rome to the Paris climate talks taking place later this year.The Pacific Climate Warriors, already in Europe to send a message to those investing in the climate crisis and raise the reality of climate impacts on their lives, joined the pilgrimage walking a little under 20 kilometers from Foligno to Assisi, a small part of the 1500 km pilgrimage led by Yeb Saño, former international climate negotiator from the Philippines.
“Joining this pilgrimage was a historic moment for us,” said Koreti Tiumalu 350.org’s Pacific Coordinator, “I was so proud to see all these young Pacific Islanders walk side by side with Yeb Saño and the other pilgrims, to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis, and at the same time challenge the moral license of the fossil fuel industry,” she added.
“This Pilgrimage actually started in Vanuatu when we went to visit those impacted by Cyclone Pam. It means a lot us that the Pacific Climate Warriors have joined us and we hope to amplify their message”
“We want to ask our Leaders to have the courage, imagination and generosity to work through difficulties and bring the world to a meaningful climate agreement that makes our future safe for our children, and is powered by 100% clean energy,” stated Saño.
Litia Maiava, the Pacific Climate Warrior from Tokelau, a low-lying atoll island that gets 100% of its electricity needs from solar energy, said that the world needs to move towards renewable energy to keep our Islands above water.
“This pilgrimage is a representation of the coalition of climate justice activists calling for world leaders going into COP21 to act on climate change and move away from fossil fuels.”
“We are on this journey for the future of our island homes, our future generations, and to show our support for Pacific Island leaders that will represent the plight the Pacific in negotiation halls during COP21 in Paris,” concluded Tiumalu.
The People’s Pilgrimage will continue on to the UN climate talks taking place in Paris, while the Pacific Climate Warriors will head to the Vatican for three days of fasting and praying for their islands, their island leaders and the future of this planet.