10 Nov 2010

Tong calls for action at Kiribati climate conference

7:45 pm on 10 November 2010

The President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, has told delegates at a Climate Change conference in Tarawa that concrete and urgent action is needed to address the climate crisis.

Mr Tong this morning opened a three-day conference attended by 18 countries and six non-governmental organisations.

Christine Gounder reports.

"Quoting a report on climate change, Mr Tong told delegates, regardless of any reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, low lying countries such as Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Maldives, Tuvalu and other low lying coastal communities will, in the decades ahead, become increasingly unable to support life and, within the century, disappear. He said while the world continues to detail actions to respond to the climate crisis, vulnerable nations continue to suffer. Mr Tong says Kiribati, for example, faced unending claims for assistance to rebuild homes and to repair damages caused by unusually high tides, but does not have the resources to do it. He said the Tarawa conference was an opportunity to shape an outcome for the UN conference in Mexico next month, that would mobilise concrete and urgent action and resources, to assist vulnerable nations to survive. He told delegates it is time to commit to action before it is too late."