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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

France promises a push to save Pacific from Global Warming Impacts

A decade after the end of its nuclear bomb test program, France says it will lead a European push to save Pacific island states from the impact of global warming and rising sea levels.

In a speech to a summit of Pacific nation leaders yesterday, President Jacques Chirac said Europe knew they were all legitimately concerned about climate change, "on which the very existence of a number of Pacific states depend".

It is feared rising sea levels could make some islands uninhabitable within 10 years. An early victim is Tuvalu, from which 3-thousand people are being resettled in New Zealand and Kiribati.

Canada is covering the cost of resettling people from parts of Vanuatu and the population of Papua New Guinea's Carteret Islands has fled to Bougainville.

Mr Chirac said that with the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, which Australia and the US have refused to sign, Europe was at the forefront of the fight for the future of the region's coral reefs and "of mankind as a whole".

He said he would stress the urgency of global mobilisation at the G8 summit in St Petersburg.

The French President assured Pacific leaders that France shares their concerns and your ambitions, and it will champion the region in all international forums.

source: SIBC Online (


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