By Rositta Liosi – EMTV Online
Rising sea levels in the Pacific region make low lying island nations more vulnerable to the effects of climate change, increasing the risk of severe floods and potentially submerging these island nations.
In a meeting on the sidelines of the Paris conference on Tuesday, U.S President, Barack Obama, met with leaders from Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, St Lucia, Barbados and Papua New Guinea.
Obama recognised the importance and special concerns of low lying states.
Speaking after the meeting, Obama described himself as “an island boy”, referring to his childhood on Hawaii, and urged the conference to listen to their concerns.
“Their population are amongst the most vulnerable to the ravages of climate change … Some of their nations could disappear entirely and as weather patterns change, we might deal with tens of millions of climate refugees in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.
The U.S President pledged his support to small island nations threatened by climate change, saying that efforts to stem global warming cannot serve only the interests of the most powerful.
On Tuesday, he (Obama) called for an ambitious agreement, saying that while the international agreement won’t have the force of a treaty, transparency must be ensured and the commitments should be binding.
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