Edmund Rice Centre pleads for low-lying Pacific Islanders

Australia must consider the needs of low-lying Pacific Island nations who are under threat rather than just focus on the science of climate change, the Edmund Rice Centre says.

The needs of Australia's Pacific neighbours have been brought into the spotlight by the Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) - which works under the Edmund Rice Foundation - at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali recently.

Sr Geraldine Kearney, who heads the PCP delegation said the people in urgent need must not be forgotten.

"The inconvenience to our lifestyles in the West counts counts for nothing in comparison with the loss of land, work and life itself that threatens the low lying countries now," Sr Kearney said.

Centre director Phil Glendenning (pictured) said the climate change debate must be about more than science and economics but must also consider the needs of people.

"The needs of people living in low lying Pacific island nations in particular are urgent and immediate and go beyond arguing over targets," Mr Glendenning said.

Kiribati delegate at the conference Tangaroa Arobati said it was not enough for wealthy nations to focus on projected emission targets.

"Our very basic human rights as inhabitants of the low-lying island nations are under threat now," Mr Arobati said.

"We need the wealthy nations to contribute generously urgent adaptation programs. We also need them to provide just access to labour markets." he said.

It is not enough for wealthy nations to focus on projected emission targets Voices from low-lying nations need to be heard in Bali

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Edmund Rice Foundation

Good Sams in Bali (CathNews 03/12/07)
Vatican delegation at climate change conference (CathNews 05/12/07)

14 Dec 2007