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Australia helps Kiribati on climate change

Monday 11 Feb 2013 1:15 p.m.

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Australia will give $18.5 million (A$15 million) to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati towards the cost of rebuilding a main road damaged by rising sea levels.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr who is visiting Kiribati says fixing the road will ensure people can get to schools, health clinics and markets.

"Kiribati is at the front line of climate change," Senator Carr said in a statement on Monday, adding its highest point is now just three metres above sea level.

Without help in the fight against climate change, Kiribati could be uninhabitable by 2030.

Coastal erosion, rising sea levels and saltwater intrusion into drinking water are major concerns.

Senator Carr will join Kiribati President Anote Tong in presenting a statement to the UN Security Council calling for climate change action to reduce the risk of future conflicts over scarce resources.

They will record the message in a Kiribati village destroyed because of rising sea levels.

NZN

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