Pacific Islands Meet over Climate Change Plan

Article excerpt

MAJURO, October 16, 2009 (AFP) - Officials from Pacific island countries expected to be among the earliest victims of climate change will meet next week to devise a negotiating strategy for a crucial Copenhagen conference.The officials will meet in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, a nation where islands average less than one metre (three feet) above sea level and are among the most vulnerable in the world to rising sea levels caused by global warming.More than a dozen Pacific Island countries will be plotting their strategy for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December in Copenhagen, which will attempt to hammer out an international deal to combat warming.Espen Ronneberg, the climate change advisor to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), said Thursday that Pacific countries would be gathering new information on the impact of global warming in the region to devise a negotiating strategy."We are in need of strong binding commitments to reduce emissions and to support adaptation to impacts (of climate change)," Ronneberg said of the Copenhagen conference. …