15 Feb 2016

Kiribati looks at engineering solutions to climate problems

7:44 am on 15 February 2016

The outgoing President of Kiribati says he will be asking the New Zealand government if they would like to join other countries in finding an engineering solution to the plight the atolls suffer at the hands of climate change.

Anote Tong is in New Zealand attending a Pacific Climate Change Conference at Wellington's Victoria University.

Mr Tong said he had been discussing various solutions to the problems Kiribati faced when it comes to being inundated by the seas.

Tong at Pacific Islands Forum in 2015

Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

He said lifting the islands by fortifying them with walls and other structures was being looked at as well as creating 'floating' islands similar to the concept of oil rigs.

"It's being studied right at this moment. We've had the United Arab Emirates visit together with dutch engineers. I have been talking to a number of countries to see if they are interested in partnering the United Arab Emirates in doing this, but I think it is an exciting initiative. One that's breaking new ground. One that will bring hope to where there is hopelessness."

Anote Tong said he also wanted to discuss immigration and employment solutions with regional leaders, including New Zealand.

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