PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has called on Commonwealth nations to strongly urge the United States to do significantly more on climate change, particularly on targets and finance.
“The target proposed by the United States of only 3 % below 1990 by 2020 is not only irresponsibly low, it is also quite unacceptable,” he said.
Sir Michael said he had asked the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to call on US president Barack Obama to put forward higher targets and provide significant new finance.
“Places like the Maldives, Tuvalu, Kiribati and many small island states (SIS) in our region, are already suffering the obvious negative effects of global warming.
“While the developed and industrialised nations are dragging their feet in committing themselves, PNG and other smaller states continue to witness instances of islands disappearing, food shortages due to soil erosion and salinity, and irregular weather patterns,” he said.
He said irregular weather patterns were not only affecting the developing nations.
“I was in London last week when the Cumbria area was inundated by massive floods. The residents said they had not seen such rain and flooding in more than 40 years,” he said.
Sir Michael said as focus now turned to Copenhagen, what was needed was a “legally binding agreement” by the global community.
“This agreement would secure a path to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, and roll back atmospheric carbon concentration to 350 parts per million.
“We need to aim for the aggregate range of 25% to 45% for our deep emission reductions as recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),” he said.
Sir Michael said he was encouraged by the action of developing nations like Brazil and others like South Korea.
“We need developed nations to support this meaningful and affirmative action,” he said.
He also expressed caution on the proposal that was being promoted by Denmark ahead of the climate change talks in its capital Copenhagen.
Denmark has been promoting a proposal to world leaders, first at the recent Apec leaders’ summit in Singapore, and at this CHOGM.
Sir Michael said the Denmark proposal lacked clarity on “a politically binding” agreement.
The CHOGM was to end yesterday (today in PNG) and the Prime Minister will leave Port of Spain later in the night on his way back to PNG.