11 Apr 2007

Vanuatu says climate change adaptation too costly for government

6:50 pm on 11 April 2007

Vanuatu's Met service says it's impossible for Vanuatu to adapt to climate change on its own because the cost is too much for the government to bear.

The climate change co-ordinator for the Vanuatu met service, Brian Phillips, says coastal erosion, caused by climate change, is a serious threat to the livelihood of the country's communities.

He says it's difficult for coastal communities to relocate further inland because they don't have the financial capacity to do so.

Mr Phillips says while Vanuatu has been trying to manage its resources to adapt naturally to climate change, the country still needs outside help.

"The only way forward is for the industrialised world to cut down on their emissions and enable the climate to stabilise over time. In the meantime small island states could do with a lot of financial assistance to help our communities adapt to the impacts of climate change because the ability of our governments to address climate change is very limited."

Brian Phillips says in 50 years, Vanuatu will see a lot of change with coastal communities moved further inland or re-settled elsewhere.