Friday, 18 December 2009

Soundbites@COP15: Tuvalu Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia

Ahimsa Kibikibi, PNG National Broadcasting Coporation, Climate Pasifika

Copenhagen, 17 December - Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia is standing firm and will not be signing any deal unless it is legally binding and promotes concrete commitments for deeper emissions reductions from developed countries, that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas levels down to safer levels.

At a final press conference before the climate change talks head into the last but crucial 24 hours, Mr Ielemia made it clear his country will not be accepting anything less.

He explains why.

“ It is now or never, we wait for next year or the year after or whatever year, to sign it, it is going to be more risky, to our people and to our islands.  You will hear from your part of the world, that our island nations have been destroyed by a tsunami or a strong wave, just over night.  You have seen how little our islands are.  The wave can just come from one side of the ocean to one side of the sea, so that's how dangerous our situation is and we are putting this forward at this very conference," he said.

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