19 Dec 2009

Tuvalu's PM says his country will not move from its bottom line

10:56 am on 19 December 2009

The Prime Minister of Tuvalu says he will not sign a climate change agreement that does not meet his demands on limiting global temperature rises.

Tuvalu and other small island states have been pushing at the climate change conference in Copenhagen for global temperature rises to be kept below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

But the country's Prime Minister, Apisai Ielemia says they have been coming under pressure to accept a target of 2 degrees.

He has reiterated his call for a legally binding agreement at Copenhagen and says Tuvalu will not move from it's bottom line because its survival depends on it.

"We have nowhere to run to because our islands are tiny, we just have to prepare ourselves individually, family wise so that they know what to do when a cyclone comes in or a hurricane blows because there is nothing else we can do. There is no mountain we can climb up, there is no other inland where we can run to like in your big countries."

Apisai Ielemia says Tuvalu is telling world leaders to cut their emissions so it can continue to exist as a nation.