Climate stalemate at Pacific leaders forum

Members of Pacific Island ForumMembers of Pacific Island ForumTHE Pacific Islands Forum failed come up with a united climate change stance on temperature warming to take to UN talks in Paris this December.

CLIMATE change was the main hot-button issue for the 16 leaders at the retreat in Port Moresby on Thursday.

Small island nations facing rising seas argued desperately for the forum to back restricting global warming to 1.5 degrees or risk their survival.

But Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his New Zealand counterpart John Key favoured a two degree warming limit.

They refused to give ground during the “robust” discussions at the nine-hour meeting. Mr Abbott said Australia and NZ had made no additional commitments on climate change but insisted they had a “good story” to tell on mitigation efforts.

“We can be constructive global citizens when it comes to climate change without clobbering our economy,” he told reporters.

His government has announced a carbon emissions reduction target of 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, while NZ’s target is a cut of 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Both targets have been criticised for lacking ambition.

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