A message from Samoa by Karen Allen, UNICEF Pacific Representative
I’m in beautiful Samoa. It’s terrifying
Greetings from Samoa in the Pacific, the gracious host of a major global conference of small island states. To visit this beautiful nation is wonderful, but also terrifying. We, the big consumers of coal, oil and gas around the world, thousands of miles away from Samoa, are stealing the future from this astonishing country and people. The damage we are doing can be seen here and, even more, on other Pacific islands, right now. The children of the Pacific in particular are facing a precarious outlook for their lives.
But if, over the coming ten years, we would switch to clean energy sources for our businesses, homes and vehicles in as many countries as possible, we would most likely succeed in giving Samoa it’s future back.
The clean sources are abundant. It hardly costs more to tap into them than finding, digging up and burning fossil fuels, especially when we factor in the huge subsidies and tax breaks for oil and coal and the costs of repairing the damage they do. You and I have a no-brainer of a decision to make: Let’s stop the madness. It’s in our power to do so.
If we don’t switch, we will destroy Samoa and a multitude of other island nations and communities. We will also do grave damage to our own countries and the entire planet. What are we waiting for?
Read UNICEF’s statement at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) here.