15 Nov 2007

Pacific states make link between human rights and climate challenges

6:47 pm on 15 November 2007

Some of the smallest island states in the Pacific are linking human rights with climate change in a bid to force the world's biggest polluters to curb their greenhouse gas emissions.

Fiji, Kiribati and Tuvalu say their people's livelihoods are under threat from rising seas and more severe weather as a result of climate change.

They are members of the Alliance of Small Island States which includes countries like the Maldives, Singapore, Jamaica and Antigua.

The Alliance is hoping to use the platform of human rights at the United Nations climate change summit in Bali next month to persuade other countries to cut their carbon emissions.

Tuvalu's Acting Director for Environment, Enati Evi, says the link is clear.

"Everybody has a right to exist and with this global warming and sea level rise it takes away our right to exist as a nation. We are a sovereign country, we have lived on this island for a long time and if this climate change, sea level rise, is going to take away what belongs to the people."

Enati Evi