10 Dec 2008

Pacific Islanders plea for end to lip service on climate change

4:39 pm on 10 December 2008

A young Pacific Islander has issued a challenge to world leaders at the UN climate change talks in Poland, telling them to stop paying lip service and show the political will to fast track negotiations.

Leah Wickham, a Greenpeace volunteer from Fiji who is part of a youth delegation in Poznan, says now is the time to get serious about dealing with climate change.

Ms Wickham says although the Pacific Islands are responsible for less than 1 percent of annual global emissions, it at the front-line of climate change impacts.

She says people from the Pacific and her small island states are victims of climate change brought about by massive emissions from developed countries.

Ms Wickham called on Australia, New Zealand and the United States to negotiate strong emission reduction targets to ensure the global temperature rise is kept as far below 2 degrees as possible.

Another Greenpeace campaigner, Dorothy Tekwie, says the only visionary leadership at the talks is coming from the smallest country with the most to lose: Tuvalu.

Tuvalu has put forward a vision of a 1.5 degree Celsius limit on temperature rise.