7 Dec 2015

Pacific is environment victim, but also leader - Cooks PM

3:56 pm on 7 December 2015

The Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna, says the Pacific is doing all it can to improve its resilience to climate change, and the rest of the world must step up to help them.

Mr Puna says small island developing states deserve special recognition in any binding agreement forged at the COP 21 climate change talks in Paris.

He reiterated that there needs to be a loss and damage provision included in the agreement.

Mr Puna says he accepts the point that Pacific countries need to be seen to be doing something for themselves to improve climate resilience.

But he says the Pacific is already doing what it can.

"I believe that we are not just environment victims, but we are also environment leaders. In the Cook Islands we have taken some very ambitious commitments. We have commitment to a 50 percent conversion to renewable energy by this year, and I am pleased to say we have done that. The other half, 100 percent, will be done by 2020. Now that is leadership."

The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna.

The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna. Photo: AFP/FILE

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