17 Sep 2013

Tuvalu leader full of confidence over Majuro Declaration

3:02 pm on 17 September 2013

The prime minister of Tuvalu says he believes the Majuro Declaration made by Pacific leaders earlier this month at their summit in the Marshall Islands will achieve its ultimate goal of a binding agreement on cutting gas emissions.

The declaration commits Pacific countries to taking a lead on climate change and sea level rise, by, for instance, cutting their own use of fossil fuels.

There has been some criticism that the declaration is a backward step but Enele Sopoaga says while the small island states emit only miniscule amounts of green house gases, they must take some responsibility.

"I think the commitment is there to tell the world that, yes, we are doing this on our own. We didn't need to be told, and so on, to do that. I mean the leaders are taking on the responsibility of helping their own island countries. We know exactly that the obligations are there for the industrialised countries to do [the same] and that is exactly the message from the Majuro Declaration."