10 Mar 2010

Kiribati group launches climate change petition

3:29 pm on 10 March 2010

A climate change petition being launched in Auckland this week hopes to get millions of signatures and spark more support for small island states under threat.

A spokesperson for the Kiribati Climate Change Network, Pelenise Alofa, says the launch of the petition coincides with the Pasifika festival, which is expected to be attended by more than 200,000 people.

She says the petition will be presented at the next United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP 16, in Cancun.

"We're hoping that by the end of this year we'll have more than what we expect because we have a COP 16 in Mexico this year and we need everybody on board so that our voices will be heard. They'll know that New Zealand and all the Pacific people here want to save their countries."

Pelenise Alofa says New Zealand also needs to work towards cutting its emissions by 40 to 50 percent by 2020.

She says she hopes Kiribati will soon be able to access the billions of dollars the Copenhagen summit promised for adaptation to countries most affected by climate change .