16 Oct 2009

Pacific Islands meeting next week to align response to climate change

8:21 am on 16 October 2009

Pacific island officials plan to bolster their negotiating position for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December when they meet in the Marshall Islands at the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable next week

A key focus of the three-day meeting in Majuro will be the Pacific's

strategy at the global climate change meeting to be held in Copenhagen at which world leaders will attempt to hammer out agreement on cutting back greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the Earth¹s climate to change.

One of the talks' organisers, Espen Ronneberg, who is climate change advisor to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, strong binding commitments to reduce emissions.

Mr Ronneberg, who is based in Samoa, says the Pacific area will be among the first casualties of climate change.

Dr. Mark Lander, a meteorologist with the University of Guam's Water and Environmental Research Institute that is affiliated with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told officials in Majuro this week that sea level rise in Micronesia this decade has been three times the world average.

He says globally, the average is about three millimetres per year increase in sea level, but in Micronesia that increase is about 10 millimetres per year.