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Toribiong says nations with high emissions must pay for damage

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Sept. 29, 2011) – Palau is calling on the United Nations to seek international legal advice over countries’ responsibilities for the damage caused by their emissions.

President Johnson Toribiong told the U.N. General Assembly that the failure of some states to acknowledge the clear-cut security implications of climate change is pathetic.

Toribiong said an attempt by the Pacific Small Island Developing States earlier this year to get the U.N. to agree to proposals for addressing the security threats was drowned by other states’ priorities.

[PIR editor's note: Palau adopted a long-term national energy policy in 2010 as a road map "for a greener and less vulnerable energy future," set to reduce national energy consumption by 30 percent by 2020 through policy, regulation and planning. In January 2010, the U.S. government signed an emissions reduction act that made the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands eligible for federal funding to combat air pollution caused by diesel engines.]

But Toribiong said Palau and the Marshall Islands will call on the assembly to obtain an urgent opinion from the International Court of Justice.

"On the responsibilities of states under international law to ensure that activities carried out under their jurisdiction or controls that emit greenhouse gases do not damage other states," he added.

[PIR editor’s note: In September of the same year, President Anote Tong of Kiribati addressed world leaders at the U.N General Assembly that a "legally binding framework" for climate change is wholly necessary and any other arrangement is "simply unacceptable."]

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