Pacific sounds warning on climate change

2013-08-30 10:34

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • New Zealand
    The guide that shows you New Zealand what others only tell you. Now R287.00
    buy now

Wellington – The Marshall Islands has warned that the clock is ticking on climate change and the world needs to act urgently to stop low-lying Pacific nations disappearing beneath the waves.

Marshalls Foreign Minister Phillip H. Muller issued a plea for action as he prepares for next week's Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), which includes some of the country's most affected by the rising seas blamed on global warming.

"We want to work as hard as we can to see if there is a possibility of having our islands continue to exist," Muller told AFP in a telephone interview from the capital Majuro late on Thursday.

"That's why we're calling for urgent action from our friends around the world. The longer we wait, I'm afraid we may reach the point of no return."

The centrepiece of next week's summit in the Marshall Islands will be the signing of the Majuro Declaration, which Muller said was an attempt to reinvigorate the international community's stalled efforts to address climate change.

He said the declaration would set concrete, achievable goals on emissions reductions and climate change mitigation measures for the 15 member states of the PIF, which is mostly made up of developing nations.

Muller said the PIF wanted to set an example to the rest of the world and it would take the declaration to the United Nations in late September and urge other countries to adopt it.

"This is a real issue for us. We're already experiencing some of the impacts of climate change," he said.

"So I think morally and practically we are the ones that need to rise up and say 'something's got to be done', not just in rhetoric and in meetings, but in real terms."

He said the Marshalls, a nation of 55 000 people made up of 29 atolls standing an average two metres above sea level, were on the frontline of climate change.

Areas of the country have been suffering from drought for most of the year, record king tides inundated Majuro in June and rising seas have eroded seawalls and causeways, as well as turning drinking water brackish and causing crops to fail.

Asked when the world needed to act, Muller replied: "It should have been yesterday."

He was optimistic climate change could be contained, but only if immediate action is taken.

"Waiting for another few days, or a year or two, isn't good enough," he said.

"We need to re-energise the international community and make them aware that there are countries that may not be in existence much longer."

He said the peoples of the Pacific did not want to become climate change refugees, forced from their homes by the encroaching sea.

Kiribati, a PIF member, has already announced plans to purchase 2 000ha of land in Fiji to provide food for the tiny nation and possibly act as a new island home.

Muller said the Marshall Islanders feared they too might have to make plans to flee if nothing is done to halt climate change.

"We love our country, our culture and our islands," he said. "We're hoping that we won't have to relocate, that's a choice that we don't want to make."

Read more on:    new zealand  |  climate change
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

An uncomfortable election

The latter few weeks of election 2014, have seen South Africans reeling from an assault on their comfort zone when it comes to voting, writes Daniel Silke

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.