Marshall Islands cabinet minister says the next five years will be the key to protecting Pacific
islands from rising sea levels.
The comment frm Tony deBrum comes on the eve of the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Majuro.
He says if nothing substantial happens in the next five years the battle is halfway lost.
The Marshall Islands is promoting a Majuro Declaration on climate change leadership to be the signature outcome of leaders' summit.
Mr deBrum says energy has to be focussed on climate change because it is a survival issue for the whole world and the Pacific needs to lead the response.
"We think that the Pacific leadership should take over. The time for kicking the can down the road waiting for - you go first, you go first - is over. We need to focus attention on the issue, not only because it is a survival issue for us but it is in fact the survival issue for the world."