18 Nov 2009

Small Pacific Island States call for legally binding climate change treaty at Copenhagen

9:08 pm on 18 November 2009

A group of small Pacific Island states has issued a call to the United Nations for a legally binding treaty on climate change to be adopted at the Copenhagen conference in December.

Palau's ambassador to the UN, Stuart Beck presented a statement on behalf of Fiji, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu.

It calls for agreement at Copenhagen that surface temperature increases be limited to below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and that greenhouse gas emissions peak by 2015.

Stuart Beck says he's not optimistic agreement will be reached at the conference, now the US President Barack Obama has said it won't be.

But he says they won't be deterred by that.

"We've been for some time concerned about the lack of movement on emissions controls, on mitigation, because as you know many of the Pacific countries really don't have a lot of time for debate on these issues."

Stuart Beck says they have also called for climate change to be debated by the UN Security Council as it is a security threat.