ERC Media Release - Thursday 15th April 2021

Edmund Rice Centre calls on Australian PM Scott Morrison to #StepUp4ThePacific at Biden Climate Summit 

Several leading Australian and Pacific not-for-profit organisations, including the Edmund Rice Centre, have jointly called on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison today to step up Australia’s climate action targets ahead of the Biden Climate Summit to be held on 22 April. 

The organisations, also including the Pacific Conference of Churches, Oxfam Australia, Greenpeace Australia Pacific and the Climate Council, commissioned a full-page advertisement in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) urging Mr Morrison to ensure that Australian “emissions plummet to well below half of their current levels this decade”. 

 “Australia could become a renewable energy superpower, as well as help protect the prosperity and stability of our region. It is critical that the Morrison government shows courageous leadership on this issue at the Biden Summit, said Ms Corinne Fagueret, Coordinator of the Pacific Calling Partnership program at the Edmund Rice Centre.  

“All of Australia’s major allies and trading partners are taking stronger climate action while Australia is being left behind, continued Ms Fagueret. 

This call is being strongly echoed by Pacific Islanders, including through last year’s Open Letter to Mr Morrison signed by 15 high profile Pacific political and religious figures, asking him to take urgent climate action. 

Mr Gordon Melsom, a Project Officer at the Edmund Rice Centre and himself of Pacific Islander heritage said: “In the past 18 months my family in Sydney has endured drought, bushfire and floods made worse by climate change. My family in the Pacific faces even greater threats.  Let’s #Stepup4thePacific and tackle climate change. Australia’s and our region’s future is being written now.”  

Ms Maria Tiimon Chi-Fang, Pacific Outreach Officer at the Edmund Rice Centre and herself originally from Kiribati, added: “Climate change is happening right now and is a matter of life and death for I-Kiribati people. As a woman originally from Kiribati and an Australian citizen, I am urging the Australian government to save the future of my 7-year-old son, who currently lives in Kiribati, and the young generation of Australia”. 

For more information and interview requests, contact: 

Corinne Fagueret; Program Coordinator Pacific Calling Partnership, Edmund Rice Centre, Ph: 0421 831 889 

See today’s advertisement in the AFR

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