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Pacific Islands' Sobering Climate Message To The World

The President of Palau, Surangel Whipps Jr, has delivered a sobering message about the Pacific Islands and the threat of climate change to world leaders at COP26.

“There is no dignity to a slow and painful death: you might as well bomb our islands instead of making us suffer," Surangel Whipps Jr told COP26.

Mr Whipps Jr compared the actions of rich nations to the Palau legend of Uwab, a young boy who ate everything and “wouldn’t stop growing ... depleting all the natural resources”.

“This is eerily reminiscent of today’s world. As large emitters with their insatiable appetite for advancement are continuing to abuse our environment, threatening our very survival.”

“We see the scorching sun is giving us intolerable heat, the warming sea is invading us, the strong winds are blowing us every which way, our resources are disappearing before our eyes, and our future is being robbed from us.”

The low-lying Pacific islands are widely seen as a main front line in the campaign against climate change as they struggle against rising sea levels.

"We need concrete action now. We cannot wait until 2050, it is a matter of our survival," Anote Tong, a former president of Kiribati and twice a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, told Reuters.

Tong has predicted his country of 33 atolls and islands that stand just metres above sea level, will likely become uninhabitable in 30 to 60 years because of inundation and contamination of its freshwater supplies.

AAP with The Project