From: Harris, Gardiner [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2015 12:57 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO
Subject: "I'm an island boy," Obama said -- pool 7
The pool was ushered back into the meeting room, where President Obama -- sitting at the central part of the U-shaped table with National Security Advisor Susan Rice on his right and Presidential Advisor Brian Deese on his left -- expressed strong support for the interests of small island nations who "are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change."
Mr. Obama said that changing weather patterns may eventually lead tens of millions of climate refugees from the Asia Pacific region.
"I'm an island boy," Mr. Obama said, citing his childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia.
Mr. Obama vowed to support the needs of small island nations in the climate conference, saying they may not be the most populace countries and may not have major armies or influence. But he said they have a right to a sense of place and culture.
The climate conference cannot simply "serve the interests of the most powerful," Mr. Obama said, but it should also serve the interests of the most vulnerable.
He said the Paris accord must be ambitious, transparent and have periodic reviews if these nations are to be saved.
No other leader spoke but several nodded. Pool was ushered out.
White House Correspondent
The New York Times
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