31 Oct 2006

New Zealand fears Pacific islands will be first victims of global warming

7:18 pm on 31 October 2006

New Zealand's minister for Pacific Island Affairs, Phil Goff, says while small Pacific countries contribute little global warming, they will be the first victims of climate change.

His comments follow a British report which warns of a possible economic disaster that could throw the world into the most serious depression since the 1930's.

Many small countries are made up of low-lying atolls, such as Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu.

Mr Goff says global warming doesn't respect borders.

"And therefore we look to multilateral organisations and protocols like the Kyoto Protocol like the United Nations to have action taken to protect people and their future in the Pacific, New Zealand will continue to be a voice for the Pacific in this regard, and the Pacific countries themselves are increasingly articulate about the need to do something about this problem"

Phil Goff