Climate 'catastrophe' looms in Pacific: Marshall Islands
SYDNEY (AFP) - The Marshall Islands has warned of a Pacific "climate catastrophe" that will wipe it off the map without decisive action on global warming, saying the next 12 months are critical.
Tony de Brum, minister in assistance to the Marshall Islands' president, is in Australia making the case for a major climate declaration at the 16-member Pacific Islands Forum it will host in September which he has insisted US Secretary of State John Kerry must attend.
Mr De Brum hopes the so-called Majuro Declaration can be presented to the United Nations General Assembly to help renew global efforts on emissions reduction as the Pacific region confronts rising seas and growing numbers of so-called climate refugees.
"Our hosting of the forum comes at the cusp of the most important geopolitical period for the region since World War II," Mr de Brum told reporters at a briefing in Sydney Thursday, adding the next 12 months "are critical to addressing climate change".