The Pacific islands threatened by climate change asked this Monday (07.18.2022) the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to rule on the legal obligations of the countries to stop the environmental crisis, a request whose objective is to pressure the most polluting nations.
In a statement released after last week’s summit in Suva, the capital of Fiji, Pacific leaders issued a joint statement calling for the Hague-based court to define obligations for states to “protect the rights of present and future generations against the adverse impacts of climate change.
The islands, many of which are at low levels and are already affected by climate change, hope that this measure will raise the legal risks for the countries that pollute the most and promote their activities.
The leaders also declared that the region is in a climate emergency and consider it an “existential” threat.
To be introduced at the ICJ, the plan must be endorsed by a majority at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
The summit brought together countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga, among other islands.
Rising sea levels and stronger storms are already causing serious problems across these Pacific nations.