14 Sep 2015

PIF communique shows a united Pacific - thinktank

9:58 am on 14 September 2015

An Australian think-tank says the Pacific Islands Forum communique presents a united front on climate change despite dissent over global temperature targets.

Island leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Port Moresby press their call for greater response to climate change by developed countries.

Island leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Port Moresby press their call for greater response to climate change by developed countries. Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

The 46th meeting of the Pacific Island leaders ended in Papua New Guinea last week with a repeat of calls to tackle climate change.

Small island states like Kiribati say developed nations like New Zealand and Australia should set their emissions target at 1.5 degrees but the two countries remain set on two degrees.

Jenny Hayward-Jones from the Lowy Institute says the resulting communique will still bring a strong Pacific voice to COP21.

"What we're seeing is largely consistency, with what leaders have called for before, calling for stronger action internationally, taking a reasonably united position to Paris short of the target on the temperature goal. Australia and New Zealand still have a little way to go before they satisfy the small island states but on the whole I think it's probably a good outcome."

Ms Hawyward-Jones says Australia and New Zealand made a valid point in drawing attention to China's projected carbon emissions which is estimated to increase by 150 percent over the next 15 years.

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