5 Dec 2007

Pacific leaders demand urgent action to stop sea levels from rising

8:43 am on 5 December 2007

Pacific leaders are demanding that a key climate change conference in Bali do more than talk, calling for urgent action to stop sea levels from rising.

The premier of Niue, Young Vivian, says he fears the meeting in Bali will only be talks and more meetings, but nothing else.

He says richer countries know what they should do, and that's to reduce emissions.

Kiribati's President, Anote Tong, showed the conference video footage of what he called the consequences of rising water levels for his island nation, including intensifying floods and storms and greater salt levels in the groundwater.

President Tong says 25 to 50 per cent of urban areas in a southern region of his country will be eroded, while 50 to 80 per cent of villages will be submerged in the same region due to rising sea levels.

The Bali conference is aimed at working out a framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, the landmark treaty on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that expires in 2012.