19 Jun 2014

Fiji leader says global effort on climate change receding

8:10 pm on 19 June 2014

Fiji's Prime Minister, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama, has accused the global community of abandoning Pacific island nations to "sink below the waves" instead of tackling climate change.

At the Pacific Islands Development Forum summit he has singled Australia for particular blame.

Rear Admiral Bainimarama says there has been collective disappointment and dismay in the Pacific at the failure to address climate change.

He says rising sea levels caused by global warming threaten the very existence of some of Fiji's neighbours - Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands and are posing threats to other nations, including Fiji.

But Rear Admiral Bainimarama says if anything the collective will of the global community to adequately address this crisis is receding.

He says there has been a distinct change of rhetoric from Australia on climate change since the election of Prime Minister Tony Abbott last year.

Earlier this month Mr Abbott said he would not adopt any climate policies that would "clobber the economy"