19 Sep 2014

Marshalls president warns of climate emergency

5:57 pm on 19 September 2014

The Marshall Islands President, Christopher Loeak, has released a video to demonstrate the need for world leaders to take action for what he describes as a full-blown climate emergency.

In the video, he stands in front of a seawall around his home, which he heightened after king tides and storm surges flooded many parts of the capital, Majuro, damaging buildings and roads.

The video was released ahead of next week's United Nations Climate Summit in New York where Mr Loeak will join more than 100 other heads of state.

He says in the last year alone the Marshall Islands has suffered through unprecedented droughts in the north, and the biggest ever king tides in the south.

The president says now is the time to build the greatest climate change alliance the world has ever seen, with the science now more alarming, the impacts more severe, and the economics more compelling.

However, a number of top leaders will be no-shows at the summit, including the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.