News

PSU Pacific Climate Warriors highlight climate change
Author: Kurt Bedell, PSU Media and Public Relations
Posted: November 1, 2017

Students part of the Pacific Islander, Asian & Asian American (PIAAA) Student Center at Portland State University have crafted a message in support of climate change action that they’ll be taking to the upcoming annual United Nations international conference on climate change.

As “Pacific Climate Warriors” that have ties to communities across the Pacific region, PSU PIAAA members “have their sei” by contributing to a video that explains the importance of climate change action to nations in the Pacific. You can get involved and watch the video online.

The Pacific Climate Warriors Declaration calls for nations to:

  • Phase-out existing fossil fuel projects and the banning of all new fossil fuel infrastructure
  • Finance and support for countries facing irreversible loss and damage due to ongoing climate impacts
  • Remove the fossil fuel industry from participating in the United Nations climate change processes so that they can no longer delay, weaken and block action on climate change
  • Implement everything the Paris climate change agreement calls for, including international efforts to ensure global average temperatures do not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

“My ancestral home in the American Samoa is directly threatened by global climate change,” said Makerusa "mak" Porotesano, program coordinator of the PIAAA Student Center at PSU.  “Rising sea levels are already encroaching directly on islands in the Pacific, and with temperatures continuing to rise, island nations are at the greatest threat.  We are not drowning.  We are fighting.” 

The “Have Your Sei” climate initiative is headed up by Chaminade University of Honolulu, City College of San Francisco and Portland State. The host of this project is 350Pacific.org a non-profit based out of the Pacific Nations of Oceania. Participants from the three higher education institutions are crafting videos about global climate change that will be shared with the United National international conference on climate change on November 1, 2017. 

“Fighting climate change is personal for me,” said Kameiah Korok, a first year student in the School of Business at PSU.  “Water levels are rising in the Marshall Islands where my relatives live and are affecting their livelihoods.  We need bold action to reverse the effects of global climate change.”

Contact Kurt Bedell at kbedell@pdx.edu.