In just over a month, representatives from nearly 200 countries will travel to France to secure a legally binding target to reduce global warming.
By
Myles Morgan

19 Oct 2015 - 5:07 PM  UPDATED 19 Oct 2015 - 6:35 PM

TRANSCRIPT

Natalie Ahmat: 

It's shaping up as one of the most important climate change summits in history.

In just over a month, representatives from nearly 200 countries will travel to France to secure a legally binding target to reduce global warming.

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The Indigenous people of Australia and a small Pacific nation went to Canberra today to push the government to do more.

Myles Morgan: The island nation of Kiribati is more vulnerable to climate change than most other countries.

Man made walls are the only real defence against rising sea levels for the low-lying atolls.

But Tinaai Teaua knows the walls can be breached by king tides or storm surges.

Tinaai Teaua, Kiribati Health Retreat: We have king tides every year but this one, earlier this year was really big and it's [out of] our control.

The damage to Kiribati's 100,000 inhabitants is emotional and physical.

"All of our food crops like coconut trees, breadfruit trees, are destroyed"

Tinaai Teaua: All of our food crops like coconut trees, breadfruit trees, are destroyed and also our groundwater, and unfortunately it's now limited and a lack of safe water for all of us.

According to the Australian Government, sea levels will rise in Kiribati.

It could be as little as 4 centimetres by the end of the century, or the worst case scenario of nearly 60 centimetres by 2090.

Tinaai Teaua: We don't want to leave. Our land is our identity, thats what we are now. Without our lands, we are nothing. So, we just want to stay and be resilient people.

Tinaii Teaua says that resilience needs to be bolstered by the Turnbull government.

Tinaai Teaua: They have to decrease the emissions and keep the water temperature below 1.5 degrees

Australia has committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels over the next 15 years.

"There's a huge opportunity for our Indigenous communities to have community-owned energy"

That's the target that will be taken to Paris.

One Indigenous advocacy group says there is untapped potential with Australia's First Nations.

Larissa Baldwin, Australian Youth Climate Coalition: We live in one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world. There's a huge opportunity for our Indigenous communities to have community-owned energy, and that's the future of where we see our communities, looking after us, having self-determination.

The message from these Indigenous peoples is there are opportunities, but immediate action needs to be taken to realise them.

Myles Morgan, NITV NEWS.