10 Dec 2009

New Caledonia joins Copenhagen talks

9:02 pm on 10 December 2009

New Caledonia's government says it wants to join the Copenhagen climate talks as rising temperatures imperil neighbouring island countries.

It will send its President, Philippe Gomes, and one of its members of the French assembly, Gael Yanno, who says New Caledonia doesn't want to be excluded from a global process as has been the case for the last 15 years.

The territory is not a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol and its emissions are excluded from the French quota.

Mr Gomes has said there is a need to tie up with the French delegation but a separate arrangement has to be found to show New Caledonia's willingness to subscribe to any follow-up accord after the Kyoto Protocol expires.

The head of the environmental organisation, Together For the Planet, says the territory's emissions will treble within the next few years when two additional nickel smelters come into operation.

New Caledonia's per capita emissions are 60 percent higher than France's.