30 Nov 2009

PNG's PM criticises US climate change policy as irresponsible

12:11 pm on 30 November 2009

Papua New Guinea has criticised the United States's climate change policy as "irresponsible" and "unacceptable" at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting .

PNG's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, launched the attack in a lead-up to a crucial United Nations meeting on climate change in Copenhagen, which starts on December 7.

Sir Michael said the targets proposed by the United States of only three per cent below 1990 levels, by 2020 was not only irresponsibly low; but also quite unacceptable.

Describing the stakes as too high", he said places like the Maldives, Tuvalu, Kiribati and many small island states in the region were already suffering the obvious negative effects of global warming.

Sir Michael said while the developed and industrialised nations were dragging their feet in committing themselves, PNG and smaller states continue to witness instances of islands disappearing, food shortages due to soil erosion and salinity, and irregular weather patterns.

There is great doubt a tangible result will come from the Copenhagen talks, but Sir Michael said a "legally binding agreement" was possible.