Ahead of the cyclone season in the Pacific region, Save the Children Australia and Save the Children New Zealand have joined forces to call for urgent action on climate change.
The leading child rights organisation is working with children and their communities across the Pacific to reduce the risk of severe weather events such as cyclones.
Save the Children Australia CEO, Paul Ronalds said that the frequency and intensity of cyclones in the Pacific will continue to increase if we don’t do more to address climate change.
“The impact of climate change is already well and truly being felt in the Pacific,” said Mr Ronalds.
“Save the Children is doing what we can to help children and their communities prepare for a fierce cyclone season, but unless drastic action is taken the situation will only deteriorate further.
“We saw the destruction storms like Cyclone Pam in 2015 and Cyclone Winston in 2016 brought to the region, not to mention rising sea levels and plummeting fish stocks.”
“Ultimately, it is children who will suffer the consequences of our inaction, particularly children living in the Pacific region.”
Save the Children is working across the Pacific to help children and their communities to anticipate, plan and adapt to climate change, including more severe and frequent weather events.
Save the Children New Zealand CEO, Heidi Coetzee said the resilience of communities in the Pacific will be tested in the weeks ahead.
“The work we’re doing now will reduce the risk to children, their communities and undoubtedly save lives if a cyclone hits the region,” said Ms Coetzee.
“For decades, Save the Children has been responding to more severe and deadly disasters in the Pacific with humanitarian support.”
“We would like to see more done to address climate change, the underlying cause of these severe weather events.”
Pacific nations made up four of the top 10 spots on the 2019 World Risk Index, with Vanuatu ranked number 1 in the world. Fiji was ranked number 12 in the world.
Save the Children Australia and Save the Children New Zealand undertake significant disaster risk reduction work across the Pacific with the support of donors, including the Australian and New Zealand governments.
Media contact: Licardo Prince on 0401 777 917.