6 Sep 2013

Ending Forum, Pacific leaders point to climate change threats

1:22 pm on 6 September 2013

The leaders of the Pacific say that climate change is the greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and well being of the peoples of the region and one of the greatest challenges for the world.

At their summit in the Marshall Islands they have committed to the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership to try and do something about it.

Don Wiseman has more:

"Under the Declaration all the Pacific nations are making clear commitments to urgently cut green house gas emissions and to become leaders in the fight to combat climate change. It includes an itemised list of what each country is doing and planning to do and many of the island nations promise to be using at least 50 percent renewable energy by 2020, some ready to join Tokelau and aim for 100 percent. Australia and New Zealand will cut their emissions by 5 percent by 2020 but they will commit to more if other industrialised countries also make stronger commitments. The leaders want their Post Forum Dialogue Partners, who include the United States and China, to also make urgent reductions. They want an acceleration of efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change and more effective delivery from aid donors of the support promised to the small island states."

The New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, says the Declaration is a realistic move and the focus of the leaders was to demonstrate that they are doing things for themselves.

And by showing the world that they are taking steps, even though they are small island states, they hope that other countries will take the initiative as well. So there was a lot of talk, not so much about trying to bully the big emitters of the world but saying here are we, small countries, and we are converting to renewable energy.