COP21: Kiribati’s Tong grows wary over ‘coloured vision’ of global leaders

President Tong ... now up to the leaders to make a sensible decision. Image: New Economy

Report from Elenoa Baselala in Paris

A tired but spirited Kiribati President Anote Tong has shared his doubts on a positive outcome on a climate change agreement in Paris this week.

Tong said he was asked many times on his thoughts on COP 21, but while he tried to remain positive there would be a positive outcome, he had a deep concern it would not be.

He said it was now up to the leaders to make a sensible decision.

“To me it has always been so clear what we should be doing because it has been so clear what is wrong,” Tong said.

However, he added, there were “things” that tended to colour the vision of leaders on what they should be doing.

His comments come as award winning marine biologist Dr Gregory Stone predicted doom and gloom for his island in that the effects of climate change were happening faster than predicted by science.

Dr Stone, who spoke at a function organised by the Coalition of Atoll Nations for Climate Change at the Musee de Quai Branly in Paris on Sunday evening, said he had observed this during his few trips to the country this year.

Intense storms
While science had concentrated on the rise in sea levels, Dr Stone said there had been a lot of discussion on the storm systems which were getting more intense.

He said the storm surges would wash over the islands faster than the sea level rise.

In fact, Dr Stone believes Kiribati and other atoll nations would have serious issues in the next two to three decades.

“So, it is very urgent,” he said.

While there were no scientific discussions on this issue, Dr Stone said his observations proved this.

Dr Stone was awarded his PhD in marine science from the University of the South Pacific and is a specialist in undersea technology and exploration, using deep-sea submersibles, undersea habitats and scuba diving in all oceans of the world.

Source: Pacific Media Watch 9506

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