Today's Labor climate announcement is a welcome development but fails to meet the call of Pacific island nations for Australia to abandon coal power generation within 12 years and prohibit new coal plants or expansion of existing ones, said the Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) today.
Maria Tiimon Chi-Fang, PCP Outreach Officer, said: “Clearly, Labor's plan to slash national greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent by 2030 and reach a 50% renewable energy target by 2050 is an important step forward. However, it is nowhere near sufficient in light of the rapidly escalating climate crisis confronting humanity, including Australia's closest neighbours in the Pacific."
“My home country is Kiribati - a small, low lying island nation in the Pacific - and every day my family feels the impacts of sea level rise, storms or drought."
Low-lying island nations such as Kiribati and Tuvalu are facing an "existential threat" from rising sea levels and the latest scientific evidence confirms that these islands are on tract to become uninhabitable by mid-century (http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/4/eaap9741). What will happen to the people of Kiribati and Tuvalu? Where will they go?
In September 2018, the Pacific Islands Forum signed a declaration saying that climate change is the "single greatest threat to the Pacific", which Australia was a party to.
“Although small Pacific islands such as Kiribati and Tuvalu bear no responsibility for creating climate change, we are the ones on the front line of climate change impacts and our very survival is on the line.
"Despite this dire situation, Australia - our direct neighbour and regional ally - continues to dig and export hundreds of millions tonnes of coal every year.
“We urge Labor to show courageous leadership on this issue by recognising that this situation is utterly unsustainable, accelerating our just transition out of coal and firmly rejecting any new coal mine or expansion, including the contentious Adani project." said Tiimon Chi-Fang.
The Pacific Calling Partnership is an Edmund Rice Centre initiative working to promote knowledge of and action with the people of low-lying Pacific Island communities who are at the frontline of climate change. PCP delegations have participated in past UN Climate Summits, including the 2015 Paris Conference
Maria Tiimon Chi-Fang, PCP Outreach Officer - 0420 506 950
Corinne Fisher, PCP Coordinator - 0421 831 889