Summit to issue climate message to world

2015-09-06 16:04

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Port Moresby - Vulnerable Pacific island nations will this week send the world an urgent plea for action on climate change at crunch talks in Paris later this year.

Some Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) countries lie barely a metre above sea level and fear they will disappear beneath the waves without drastic intervention from major polluters.

The 15-nation regional grouping, meeting in Port Moresby from Monday, has long complained of bearing the brunt of climate change, even though its members make a miniscule contribution to global carbon emissions.

For more than a decade, the annual PIF summit has heard details of eroding coastlines, increasingly destructive storms and crops ruined by encroaching seawater.

Serious damage

Villagers in the Marshall Islands have seen graveyards swamped, while tiny Kiribati has purchased a large block of land in Fiji in case its entire population needs to relocate.

Palau President Tommy Remengesau said the Pacific's plight should prick the conscience of delegates from 195 nations who will meet in Paris in December seeking a breakthrough climate deal.

"What is happening is non-uniform, rapid, extreme and destructive in impact and consequences," said Remengesau, who is also the PIF president.

"There is immediate danger for all small island countries. Climate change is causing serious damage now, it is not an event of the future," he said.

The so-called COP21 talks in Paris will seek a binding deal to take effect in 2020 that will commit all nations to emissions cuts.

The goal is to limit average global warming to 2°C over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

Read more on:    un  |  climate change

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