The Prime Minister is an enemy of the Pacific, said Australian Greens climate and energy spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP, ahead of the upcoming meeting of leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu.
“The Prime Minister feigns friendship, but his expansion of coal mining makes him the biggest enemy the Pacific has ever had,” said Mr Bandt.
“Pacific Island leaders are pleading with Australia to get out of coal, but the Prime Minister is giving them the middle finger.
“Their islands, including Tuvalu, face extinction because of the climate crisis and coal is the biggest cause of climate change.
“When the Prime Minister visits our Pacific Island neighbours, he goes to their churches but he sends them to hell.
"Scott Morrison can't bribe his way out of the Pacific's climate crisis by repackaging existing foreign aid money.
“Only this week the United Nations has said the Paris goals of keeping warming well below 2 degrees to limit the existential threat of climate change are not being reached.
“Inadequate Paris commitments from countries like Australia mean we’re currently on track for 3.5 degrees of warming, which means the end of many Pacific Island nations.
“Our coal-hugging Prime Minister continues to preside over a government bent on expanding the mining and burning of coal, yet he expects a hero’s welcome from the Pacific leaders on Thursday.
“If Scott Morrison wants to earn the respect and friendship of the Pacific, he needs to lift Australia’s climate targets and begin to phase out coal.”
The Prime Minister is using dodgy accounting tricks to make it look like he’s serious about combatting climate change in the Pacific without actually doing anything to address its root cause - our addiction to fossil fuels - Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale said.
“Not only is Scott Morrison refusing to heed our Pacific neighbours’ calls to end our love affair with coal, he’s also refusing to give Australia’s fair share of development assistance funds so the Pacific can respond to the threat of climate change,” Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale said.
“This $500 million isn’t new, it’s a dodgy accounting trick that does nothing more than move money about within our already scandalously small aid budget. Our Pacific neighbours are on the frontlines of the climate emergency, but instead of taking genuine action to stop global warming at the source - ending the digging up and burning of fossil fuels - we get the same old smoke and mirrors from the Coalition.”
“As a developed nation and a significant contributor to global warming, Australia should be helping our neighbours with additional climate funding, not playing a pea and shell game with our foreign aid budget.
NOTE: A conservative analysis by Climate Action Tracker of present policies, including Australia’s, has the world heading towards 3.5 degrees, which would be a catastrophe for the Pacific and the world.