Low-lying Micronesia hopes Trump reconsiders his stand on climate change

by Reuters
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 10:57 GMT

Pacific island women and girls stand in the water in Newcastle Harbour as they watch a flotilla of watercraft block shipping access to Australia's largest coal port in Newcastle, north of Sydney, May 8, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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"I know in his heart he will have an appreciation of what Pacific islanders are all about," says foreign minister

TOKYO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The Pacific island state of Micronesia hopes U.S. President-elect Donald Trump changes his view on climate change, its foreign minister said on Tuesday, adding that global warming poses the biggest threat to low-lying island countries.

Trump, set to take office on Friday, dismissed climate change as a hoax during his election campaign and vowed to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, a deal among nearly 200 countries to curb global warming.

After his November election victory, he said he was keeping an open mind on whether to pull out of the accord. Some of his selections for top jobs in his administration are also sceptical about climate change.

Micronesia's foreign secretary, Lorin Robert, told a news conference in Tokyo he hoped Trump would have a change of heart.

"The greatest threat to us Pacific island countries is climate change," Robert said following a meeting of foreign ministers and other representatives from Japan, Australia, New Zealand and 14 Pacific island nations.

"I hope that the next president of the United States will have a different view, in the matter of days, when he takes his office because I know in his heart he will have an appreciation (of) what Pacific islanders are all about."

Pacific island nations including Kiribati and Tuvalu are facing the brunt of climate change with rising seas and more violent storms raising grave doubts about their futures.

British climate change scientists on Monday asked British Prime Minister Theresa May to press Trump to acknowledge climate change risks and support international action to slow global warming.

The countries taking part in the Tokyo meeting included the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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