PIDF to sign Suva Declaration on climate change

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama says Pacific island countries are gearing up for their biggest struggle yet in convincing industrial nations to set deep and binding cuts in carbon emissions at the upcoming climate change summit in Paris.

He says he had hoped Australia would have done better in its target of reducing emissions by between 26 and 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

"I have a simple message today for the Australian Prime Minister: Mr Abbott, it is time to put the welfare and survival of your Pacific Island neighbours before the expansion of your existing coal industry and your continuing reliance on this dirtiest of energy sources. The other day, the President of Kiribati, His Excellency Anote Tong, described Australia's loyalty to coalmines as selfish and I couldn't agree more."

Mr Bainimarama says the PIDF has never been stronger and would this week sign the Suva Declaration which he described as a common position on climate change to take to Paris.

He also said it was high time for a global debate on how to deal with climate refugees.

He announced an offer by Fiji to host a separate section within the Attorney General's Department to evaluate the legal challenges around climate migration.