The Marshall Islands, a small island state in the Pacific, cries for help as the islands continued to sink due to rising sea levels. Composed of 29 coral islands and atolls in the middle of Australia and Hawaii, the Marshall Islands are currently just 2 metres above sea level. The islands want help from the New Zealand government as the population will be at risk to increasingly intense droughts and storms.
Tony de Brum, Marshall Islands vice president, believed that "climate change is already here." In the 44th Pacific Islands Forum, Marshall Islands urged New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to lead efforts to reduce the effects of climate change.
The Pacific Islands Forum will be attended by the leaders of 15 nations in the Pacific for four days of climate change and global warming talks. Marshall Islands was dealing with the devastating effects of intense drought in its northern islands. The small island state also experienced flooding in its capital Majuro which caused its airport to shut down in August.
Climate change was the theme of the Pacific Islands Forum for 2013 and New Zealand was placed on the spotlight for its carbon pollution. The country is said to be the top 5 highest carbon polluter in the world.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he understood what is happening to Marshall Islands and the risks it currently faces, but he said New Zealand only emits a small amount of carbon pollution compared to other nations in the world. Mr Key said if New Zealand will further reduce its pollution levels, it would have no significant effect to Marshall Islands.
He explained that most of the country's carbon emissions came from the agriculture sector. If New Zealand will reduce food production, it could lead to a food shortage that will also affect its exports.
However, Marshall Islands considered Australia and New Zealand as its "big brothers" and wanted them to show leadership in climate change talks. When asked if the New Zealand government will consider relocation for the Marshalls' 55,000 residents, Mr Key said it wise to consider the worst case scenario.
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