According to the President of Kiribati, a UN climate change pact will come too late for its 32 low lying atoll islands. Anote Tong explained to a group including UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Government officials that king tides and strong winds have forced entire villages to relocate and there are not many alternatives.
Tong urged countries to use Kiribati’s situation as a powerful driver to develop an ambitious deal to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions. He admitted to almost losing hope sometimes, as there was only so many times you can tell a story that people won’t listen to and stated that we simply can’t be paralysed into inaction.
On the same day as President Tong’s statement, the BASIC group-India, China, South Africa and Brazil has warned that the US$100 billion per year by 2020 promised by developed nations to fund clean energy projects was well and truly off course. China’s Climate Change Envoy Xie Zhenhua stated that the $100 billion per year was still expected and he hoped that it would be fulfilled prior to Paris. South Africa’s Environment Minister Edna Molewa added that $100 billion was far from enough that the amount would need to be progressively scaled up.
According to Oxfam, at present developed nations are only providing 20% of that amount, and of that only $2.5-$4.5 billion is being used to aid preparation for future extreme weather events, which the World Bank has warned is inadequate to protect those who are vulnerable to such events. Investments in clean energy and avoiding long term fossil fuel usage are vital, as are preparation for future floods, droughts and rising sea levels, all of which scientists say could intensify as a result of climate change.