Climate change remains a major global challenge for humanity. For Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Vanuatu, climate change remains in fact the most significant single threat to sustainable development. The linkage between climate change and sustainable development is well documented. Without addressing climate change, sustainable development in SIDS cannot be achieved. One direct consequence of climate change is the increase in extreme weather events, which increasingly destroys crops and thus, has an adverse impact on many people’s livelihood. Shortages in food lead cause sharp increases in prices leading to hunger and eventually to humanitarian crisis. Cyclone Pam, which hit Vanuatu in 2015 has clearly demonstrated this, affecting 64% of the economy and 60% of the population as well as destroying 96% of food crops. Rising ocean temperatures resulting from climate change will also have a big impact on marine fisheries by changing habitat temperatures which will significantly influence their metabolism, growth, reproduction and distribution. Fishery being one of the most important sources of food for many SIDS is thus, threatened. Other impacts that Vanuatu but also other SIDS are experiencing already, include sea-level rise, coastal erosion and ocean acidification. These developments are not only a risk to food security but also to tourism, which is for many SIDS the most significant sector of their economy. Thus, they threaten the economies and the eradication of poverty, frustrating the countries' efforts to achieve sustainable development.
The Vanuatu Mission to the United Nations is a strong advocate for a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that limits the rise in global temperatures to well below 1.5° Celsius. It further, engages in ensuring the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.