Former US president Obama says 'act now' on climate change to help island nations

The tales of island nations at the 2015 climate talks had been crucial to the resulting Paris Agreement.
The tales of island nations at the 2015 climate talks had been crucial to the resulting Paris Agreement.PHOTO: AFP

GLASGOW (REUTERS) - Former US president Barack Obama called on the UN climate conference in Glasgow on Monday (Nov 8) to address the risks that island nations face from rising sea levels.

Mr Obama said their tales at the 2015 climate talks had been crucial to the resulting Paris Agreement, which commits countries to holding the rise in the average global temperature to "well below" 2 deg C above pre-industrial levels.

"I have been shaped by my experience growing up in Hawaii," said Mr Obama. "We have to act now to help with adaptation and resilience."

Other speakers at the COP26 summit pressed Mr Obama about the failure of the United States and other Western countries to meet pledges to provide US$100 billion (S$135 billion) a year in climate finance.

"Among others, the US is woefully short of paying its fair share of climate finance," said Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama. "Now we are most vulnerable and are told to suck it up and wait."

He added: "Developed nations are failing us."