5 Nov 2015

Failure not an option for Tuvalu in Paris

1:02 pm on 5 November 2015

The prime minister of Tuvalu says failure is not an option for his country going into the Paris COP 21 negotiations at the end of the month.

Tuvalu Enele Sopoaga

Tuvalu's Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga Photo: RNZI / Jamie Tahana

Enele Sopoaga is challenging industrialised nations to step up to the plate and agree to the most ambitious legally binding agreement possible for action on climate change.

Mr Sopoaga says it would be a shame for world leaders to miss this unique opportunity to put the interests of humanity ahead of corporate profits and economic advancement.

"We are very appreciative there are some very positive signals coming through by President Obama, China and therefore I want to appeal to our neighbours especially Australia and New Zealand would stand with us Pacific Islands countries and increase their commitments."

The Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands Tony de Brum says he has not given up on the Pacific's big brothers.

Mr de Brum says the larger countries are much more than the Pacific's closest neighbours.

"Australia and New Zealand are not just friends of the Pacific they are Pacific Islands, big Pacific Islands but nevertheless still Pacific Islands. And we still call upon Australia and New Zealand to take a robust leadership position and advocate for their neighbours and for the survival of the people of the Pacific and the world. They must be part of the solution."

Tony de Brum says the Pacific is pushing for a legally binding agreement for action on climate change to include a 1.5 degree emissions target and incorporate a review of the climate situation every five years.

New Zealand and Australia both back the prevailing view 2 degrees should be the limit.