Kiribati urges coal moratorium

KIRIBATI President Anote Tong has called for a moratorium on new coal mine developments and expansions in preparation for December’s climate talks in Paris.

Robert Hobson

Countries would be able to immediately opt into the measure as the moratorium would sit outside the formal negotiation process at the climate talks.

Tong said: “The construction of each new coal mine undermines the spirit and intent of any agreement we may reach, particularly in the upcoming COP21 in Paris, while stopping new coal mine constructions now will make any agreement reached historical.”

“As leaders we have a moral obligation to ensure that the future or our children, our grandchildren and their children are safe and secure.”

Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said new coal mines are driven by “ignorance or sheer disregard” and that the effects of climate change are being felt on Pacific Island nations.

“We need international leadership on this issue and a planned retreat from coal involving a just transition for existing workers and developed in consultation with affected communities,” he said.