November 21, 2018
Climate refugee threat sharpens thinking
Foreign minister Winston Peters says countries in the region are increasingly waking up to the threat of climate change, including the prospect of having to take in 200,000 climate refugees.
The Government has received an open letter from 150 academics and researchers warning the world has about 12 years to make the dramatic reductions needed in global net carbon emissions to get climate change under control.
Mr Peters says the issue was taken seriously over the past week at both the East Asia Summit and the APEC meeting in Papua New Guinea.
He says it was the priority issue for Pacific Island nations, because they need help to address threats they face not just from sea level rise but from more frequent and more intense storms.
"If we can’t do that, we are going to have to look at relocation and that is something most governments shun from but it is a reality we have to face and we have to do it as soon as we can with as much support as we possibly can. Some of these nations are hanging on by a thread because the aquifer water supply they have is totally inadequate," Mr Peters says.
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