At the Bonn Conference of the Parties, Fiji turned a tiny part of Germany into a tropical island as it leads global negotiations on climate change. Average sea levels in Fiji have risen 10 inches since the late 19th century, driven partly by melting ice and endangering life on the island. Fiji is the first small island state to preside at U.N. climate negotiations since they began in the 1990s. Fiji outfitted a conference centre with canoes, dancers, huge photographs of palm-fringed islands, virtual reality shows and flowers.
Fourteen Pacific Island countries are considering an expansive new climate treaty at the annual leaders’ summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF). Pacific Island nations are considered some of the most vulnerable to climate change effects and have pushed strongly for significant climate action. The proposed legal model, written by the Pacific Island Climate Action Network, would be the first international treaty to ban or phase out fossil fuels.