23 Mar 2015

Niue leader expects more climate devastation in region

1:18 pm on 23 March 2015

The Premier of Niue says Pacific Islands are likely to face more destruction from extreme storms while the trend of climate change is left unchecked.

Cyclone damage on Tongoa Vanuatu

Cyclone damage on Tongoa Vanuatu Photo: AFP

Toke Talagi says Island leaders are tiring of going to international fora and calling for meaningful action on reducing carbon emissions.

He says over the past decade or two, effectively no action has been taken by developed countries.

Mr Talagi says the consequences include the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam this month in Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Kiribati.

"When you consider a country like Vanuatu and it's lost all of its developments over the past, say 20 years, and it's got to rebuild again and rebuild its GDP and so on; you've got to wonder, next five or ten years another cyclone comes along, after the recovery and rebuild, another cyclone comes, destroys the whole thing again."

Toke Talagi says UN climate change negotiations have been ineffectual and he doesn't plan to attend the upcoming Paris summit.

He says global agreements on providing climate change adaptation funds to impacted countries have a degree of unreality about them.

"Some people who make the decisions, the policies, believe that in fact once they've made the policies, then it will manifest itself into money being distributed. The reality is that most of us have not received any money at all, and in fact you've got to jump over hoops to get yourself in a position where you can get any financial resources."

Toke Talagi says most of the funds go to consultants anyway.

Family in Nikinini community (mother Josephine, and children Angelica (12), Jacquie (9), Jessica (1) and Bojel (8). They have lost everything beacuse of Super Cyclone Pam. The cyclone has affected 60,000 children

Photo: SUPPLIED / Unicef