Scott Morrison must ignore Liberal hardliners and commit Australia to signing the Pacific Island Forum’s “Biketawa Plus” regional security declaration, which includes endorsement of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
According to Fairfax, the draft agreement covers a range of issues including crime and humanitarian assistance as well as the environment. The consultations were strongly supported by the former Turnbull Government.
However, it makes clear that Pacific island nations regard climate change as their greatest area of concern.
“We reaffirm that climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific and our commitment to progress the implementation of the Paris agreement.”
After downgrading the position of Minister for the Pacific from his new ministry, appointing to the post someone who claims she has “no idea” why she was given the job, and then snubbing the Pacific Islands Forum leader’s meeting, Mr Morrison cannot afford to further slight our Pacific neighbours by walking away from the “Biketawa Plus” declaration.
For Pacific Island nations climate change is a threat to their very existence.
While the Morrison Government is now walking away from any serious action on climate change, and is under strong internal pressure to abandon the Paris agreement, this agreement is too important for Australia, and the region, to be wrecked by the Liberal Party’s internal divisions.
Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.