November 6, 2017

Time to Act: COP23 talks open with Pacific Climate Warriors’ call for real leadership and climate action

BONN, GERMANY — Speaking from Bonn as the first ever UN Climate Talks (COP 23) to be conducted under the presidency of a Pacific Island nation begin, the Pacific Climate Warriors reminded world leaders of the urgency for action: “In the Pacific, the impacts of climate change are not a debate, it is our reality. We no longer have time to talk. Now is the time to act!”

COP23, under the presidency of Fiji, creates a historic moment in the climate justice movement, as voices from the Climate Vulnerable Forum are put front and centre.

“We are here to push world leaders to show real climate leadership: end the era of fossil fuels, and build a just, renewable future for all,” said George Nacewa, one of the Pacific Climate Warriors, speaking from Bonn as the  opening ceremony is underway. “ The world is at a turning point, the climate crisis is no longer a future threat: it’s a clear and present danger. Climate change is affecting all and will continue to affect you, me and the places that we call home. If we don’t stand up in the face of climate change, who will?”

The Pacific Climate Warriors, representing 12 Pacific Island nations, are putting forward the Pacific Climate Warriors Declaration on Climate Change, which states: For more than two decades, negotiations have failed to deliver the action required to protect our homes and livelihoods from dangerous climate change. Communities everywhere are stepping up to ensure that their voices are heard, that the leadership vacuum left by world leaders is filled, and they deliver the change we need at the pace we need to avoid catastrophic climate change. We, the Pacific Climate Warriors, on behalf of the communities we are from, call for more ambitious action on climate change from our world leaders. We are not drowning, we’re fighting!

“People from the Pacific, Germany, and all over the world have come together as an internationally united climate justice movement to demand the end of fossil fuels now,” said Brianna Fruean, Climate Warrior from Samoa, as she participated in a traditional ceremony in the deserted village of Manheim. On the eve of COP23 climate talks, Pacific Islanders and thousands of people from across the world took direct action in the Rhineland coalfields; as thousands of people blocked the open-pit lignite mine Hambach, the Pacific Climate Warriors stood in solidarity with people impacted by and resisting the coal industry in Germany.

This is a pivotal moment for global efforts to combat climate change. Countries will either succumb to the forces of denial, like the Trump Administration, or move ahead to a clean energy future that works for all.  

“In the Pacific we feel the impacts of climate change already and eventually it’s going to affect everyone on this planet,” cautioned Fruean, “We’re all different people but it’s one struggle.”


For more information & for interviews: Media pack – Pacific Climate Warriors

In Bonn: Melanie Mattauch, Europe Communications Coordinator, [email protected]  +49 151 5812 0184

In Fiji: Neisau Tuidraki for, [email protected],  Ph: (+679) 9318190

A full list of’s Events and Activities at COP23 is available at: