22 Dec 2009

Pacific Conference of Churches says Australia and NZ failed Island states

8:17 am on 22 December 2009

A body representing more than 20 churches in the Pacific says New Zealand and Australia failed to take up the plight of island states at the climate change summit in Copenhagen.

Pacific countries, as members of the Alliance of Small Island States, had been calling for a legally binding agreement that limited world temperatures to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times.

But the general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, Feiloakitau Tevi, says New Zealand and Australia were looking out for their own interests rather than supporting their smaller neighbours

"We had hoped that Australia and also New Zealand would take up the plight of the Pacific countries to Copenhagen, but what we clearly saw in Copenhagen was the undermining of the AOSIS and Pacific position, and this undermining is clearly disappointing for us."

Feiloakitau Tevi says his organisation is now preparing communities which will have to be relocated because of climate change.