21 Nov 2013

Nauru tells climate conference high emitters shirking responsibility

4:28 pm on 21 November 2013

High carbon emitting countries are being accused of not doing enough to avert the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

Nauru's president Baron Waqa has told a high level meeting at the United Nations climate change conference underway in Poland - COP 19 - that the Alliance of Small Island States has put forward sensible proposals on loss and damage.

The alliance encompasses 44 low-lying islands and coastal countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Mr Waqa says many other countries most responsible for those impacts are retreating from their moral responsibility and obligation to act.

"Consequently we are lacking the urgent ambition required to lower emissions in the short time we have to avert catastrophe. We are missing the clarity on finance that is needed to realise our mitigation opportunities and prepare vulnerable communities for impacts that have become impossible to avoid."

Baron Waqa says what is also missing is the all-embracing idea of human solidarity underpinning the concept of loss and damage.