Climate change remains the biggest crisis facing humanity in the long-term, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today is celebrated as World Environment Day and what could be a better time than be reminded of the threat the world faces from climate change, despite our worries over Covid-19.
Speaking at the first extraordinary inter-sessional summit of heads of State and government of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States this week, Kausea Natano urged fellow delegates not to lose sight of reality.
"The Covid-19 public health emergency and its ensuing humanitarian and economic fallout offers the world a glimpse of what the global climate change emergency can become - if it is left unchecked and if ambitious action is not taken now," Kausea Natano said.
“On the coronavirus pandemic Kausea Natano said the Pacific was deeply saddened by the global loss of life and conveyed their condolences and prayers to all who have been affected.
"We are living in unprecedented times where we must stand together in solidarity and face the challenges presented to us," Kausea Natano said.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted us all."
“According to the World Health Organisation, as of Wednesday (3 June) more than 379,000 people around the world have died from Covid-19 with over 3,600 deaths in the last 24 hours.
“Out of this just over 7,050 deaths occurred in the Western Pacific with 13 reported in the past day.
“Mr Natano also added the Pacific's voice to the international call for innovative solutions to address debt relief and debt sustainability.
"Closing our borders allowed the Pacific region to contain the spread of Covid-19, but this has come at great cost to our economies," Mr Natano said.
"Many businesses have closed, and our Pacific islands that rely so heavily on tourism are suffering."
"Recession is anticipated region-wide."
“Kausea Natano called for multi-lateral support saying stimulating development in the Pacific will require a co-ordinated response with cross-border solutions.
"We have supported each other in times of need over the past decades, and our development partners have also stepped up to assist us when we needed them," Mr Natano said.
"We need that solidarity to continue, now more than ever."
Source Radio New Zealand.