7 Aug 2009

Climate change may trigger conflict, says UN diplomat

4:43 pm on 7 August 2009

A senior UN diplomat says climate change may cause conflict within the region.

At the end of the Pacific Islands Forum yesterday, leaders issued a call to action on climate change to the world, calling for a reduction to global emissions by at least 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Ajay Chhibber, the head of the United Nations Development Programme for Asia and the Pacific, says climate change represents a significant threat to human security.

"Especially for some of the smallest of the Pacific islands the pressure will be quite intense on land and therefore on agriculture, health and therefore potential of people moving, and that's when you create extreme stress."

Ajay Chhibber says that stress could spill over into conflict, especially with the already complicated land issues in some Pacific countries.