Climate change negotiators see impact first hand in Marshalls
Talks in Marshall Islands an opportunity to bring home the reality of climate change.
The Marshall Islands foreign minister, Tony deBrum, says this week's Cartagena Dialogue has been an opportunity for ambassadors and climate negotiators from around the world to see the realities of climate change on the ground.
The group involves about 40 countries which are pushing for a global climate treaty.
Mr deBrum says holding the meeting in Majuro was a wonderful opportunity to show the impact of the severe flooding from king tides just four weeks ago, that left a number of homes inundated and more than 1000 people displaced.
TONY deBRUM: Bringing the dialogue together in Majuro was a crucial opportunity for progressive countries to galvanise our progressive climate issues ahead of the UN Secretary General's climate summit in September. We saw this as a wonderful opportunity because we have had some climate related issues here, including flooding and extreme drought. It is good to have our allies within the climate change community to see first hand what is happening to small vulnerable countries like ours. So we have had very very active and I think it is going to be very productive at the end of the day when we issue our final drafts after the session ends.
DON WISEMAN: Are people surprised when the see the situation in Majuro following that weather you had earlier in the year?
TdeB: Oh absolutely. The Marshalls are small to begin with and even landing on a commercial aircraft in Majuro can be quite an experience for people who have not landed on atolls before in a commercial jet, so yes from the very moment that they arrive and see the waves on either side of the runway, the water catchment systems, in some cases flooded roads and in some cases super dry taro patches - it is I think an experience that is hard to forget for the people involved in climate change for the duration of the fight through the years.
DW: Now it is an interesting coincidence I suppose that you are having this dialogue this week and the latest report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is out. What has been the reaction to that?
TdeB: When we opened the meeting on Tuesday we were able to cite the issuance of that report as a wakeup call for everyone and finally there should not be any question as to the science behind the climate change and the acceptance of what must be done to protect and to preserve vulnerable countries from its impact. The IPCC report serves as a platform from which more ambitious targets can be set and can be argued for in the upcoming meetings leading to the 2015 COP (The Conference of the Parties at the UN's Framework on Climate Change) in Paris.
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