Australia joins Pacific call to action on security threats of climate change
My visit to Kiribati last week, February 10-11, brought home the urgency with which we need to tackle climate change.
During this visit, I recorded a video message (above) with President Anote Tong of Kiribati. It was delivered to the United Nations Security Council during a debate on the relationship between climate change and security.
Our region was represented by the Marshall Islands Minister-in-Assistance Tony de Brum to the United Nations Security Council on February 15, 2013.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned the international community of the risks of global warming beyond two degrees. Heating beyond this benchmark represents a catastrophic scenario for the planet.
Without effective action on climate change, the projected sea level rise of up to 80 cm by the year 2100 in parts of the Pacific will exacerbate inundation, storm surges and erosion. This will have negative impacts on vital infrastructure, population settlements and facilities that support livelihoods.
In Kiribati, temperatures, ocean acidification and the intensity and frequency of days of extreme heat and rainfall will continue to increase. The affects have been dramatic – some parts of Kiribati will be uninhabitable in the next 10 to 20 years.
Australia remains committed to working closely with Pacific island countries and other small island developing states to find a global solution to climate change through mechanisms such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).