Vanuatu is asking the International Court of Justice to issue an opinion on the rights of present and future generations to be protected from the adverse impacts of climate change.

Vanuatu, with a population of some 280,000 people spread across roughly 80 islands, is among more than a dozen Pacific island nations facing rising sea levels and more regular storms that can wipe out much of their economies. In response to the devastating levels of climate change losses and damage that this small Pacific nation is facing, Vanuatu acknowledged that the current levels of support and action for vulnerable countries in multilateral mechanisms were inadequate,” it said in a Saturday statement.

Vanuatu stated that it would route the initiative through United Nations General Assembly ..

Although advisory opinions of the court aren’t legally binding, they have legal weight and moral authority due to its status as the U.N. highest court for disputes between countries. Its opinions are useful in the development of international legal.

Ahead of November’s COP26 U.N. climate talks in Scotland, Vanuatu will “drastically expand its diplomacy and advocacy” to build a coalition with fellow Pacific Islands and other vulnerable nations, it said.

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Caleb Pollard, president of Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change, said global responses so far were “mostly ‘band-aid’ solutions that are in reality just buying more time and failing to provide actual meaningful change. “

“We must address the crisis by systematically targeting the root causes of one of the biggest and most imminent threats we face today,” Pollard said in a statement.

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