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Climate change is lapping at our feet

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 07 Sep 2011

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that visiting Pacific nations threatened by rising seas had reinforced his belief that climate change was real and posed a genuine threat to humanity.

The island of Kiribati is on the front line of climate change. Photograph: Richard Vogel/AP

Ban stopped in the Solomon Islands and Kiribati on his way to New Zealand for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), and described the two small nations as “on the front line” of the climate change issue.

He said Kiribati, where some villagers have been forced to relocate as the rising ocean encroaches on their land, dramatically illustrated climate change’s impact on the planet.

“For those who believe climate change is about some distant future, I invite them to visit Kiribati or the Solomon Islands and most of the Pacific island countries,” he said in a speech at Auckland University.

“Climate change is not about tomorrow. It is lapping at our feet — quite literally in Kiribati and elsewhere.”

Ban said that in his role as UN leader he had seen the impact of climate change first-hand in areas of the globe ranging from Antarctica to the Amazon Basin and Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.

He said scientific evidence backed up his view.

“The science has made it plainly clear that climate change is happening now and, unfortunately, much, much faster than you may think,” he said.

“Having visited Kiribati and the Solomon Islands has strengthened my conviction that climate change is a distinct threat to humanity, it is even a threat to international peace and stability.”

Ban said the rising oceans were sending a signal that something was “seriously wrong with our current model of economic development”.

“We will not succeed in reducing emissions without sustainable energy solutions,” he said.

Ban is the first UN leader to attend the 16-nation PIF, which this year is being held in Auckland.

Source: Times Live

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