Kerry: Pacific Islands need urgent climate support

US Secretary of State says he is committed to working closely with small island leaders to guarantee future survival

US Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged to ensure a ‘secure future’ for Pacific Island states in the face of growing pressures from climate change.

In a video message played to delegates at this week’s Pacific Island’s Forum Kerry said it was now vital to help vulnerable nations prepare for the impacts of global warming, including rising sea levels and extreme weather events.

“I stand with you in the fight against climate change, and I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure a more secure future for the Pacific family of nations and the entire planet,” he said.

Kerry described UN efforts to develop a climate adaptation framework as “very promising”, and said President Obama’s new climate action plan would ensure “more aggressive action than ever before”.

This week leaders of small island states and representatives from the US, EU, Australia and New Zealand are meeting in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands.

Many island leaders had hoped Kerry would be able to attend talks in Majuro, but it is understood events in Syria prevented him from travelling.

This morning the EU announced it would provide €150,000 to assist drought victims on the Marshall Islands.

Rising sea levels and erratic rainfall patterns linked to climate change are having increasingly severe effects on small islands in the region.

Following a dry spell the Marshall Islands government declared a state of disaster for 13 atolls/islands on May 9.

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