Monday 12 August 2019
Prime Minister Scott Morrison's expected announcement of a $500 million climate finance package for the Pacific confirms the Australian Government's failure to act on the central component of Pacific leaders’ requests- strong and urgent climate action by Australia.
Last week, Pacific leaders in Fiji signed the Nadi Bay Declaration, formally calling on Australia to refrain from using carry-over credits to meet their Paris emissions reduction target. The Nadi Bay Declaration also called for a halt to new coal mining projects and the phasing out of coal-fired power generation over the next decade.
"Prime Minister Scott Morrison is ignoring very clear requests from Pacific leaders and choosing to appease their growing discontent with Australia's lack of climate action by throwing cash at them." said Edmund Rice Centre Director Mr Phil Glendenning.
"Climate finance is an important component of climate justice and climate adaptation. However, in and of itself, it will never be enough to solve the climate crisis and ensure the long term survival of Pacific island nations." continued Mr Glendenning.
Last week, Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga highlighted the importance of climate action to Australia's relationship with the Pacific:
"We cannot go on talking about partnerships regardless of whether it is [the Australian government’s Pacific] Step-Up or [New Zealand’s Pacific] Reset, while you keep pouring your coal emissions into the atmosphere that is killing my people and drowning my people into the water." Prime Minister Sopoaga said.
"Australia's relationship with the Pacific cannot be bought with money. True partnership means doing everything we can to secure our friends' survival. This means that Australia needs to listen to Pacific leaders, substantially increase Australia's commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions under the Paris agreement and urgently transition out of coal.” Mr Glendenning concluded.
To view a message to Australia from a young Tuvaluan woman: