Prime Minister Scott Morrison has further undermined Australia’s standing in the Pacific by watering down the Pacific Islands Forum communique on climate change.
This damages our Pacific Step Up and weakens our position in a critical region.
By refusing to acknowledge the Pacific is facing a climate change ‘crisis’, Mr Morrison has put Australia at odds with our Pacific neighbours who are already experiencing the reality of climate change in rising sea levels, more frequent and intense storms and damage to their agricultural activities.
His failure to lift our climate change ambition and adopt policies to reduce emissions shows just how much the Prime Minister is beholden to the right of his Party room.
And by continuing to commit to dodgy accounting tricks like using Kyoto carry-over credits, Mr Morrison shows his lack of commitment to addressing climate change.
Australia could have reached a compromise at the Pacific Islands Forum by committing to emissions reduction targets that were consistent with the Paris Treaty, but Mr Morrison welched on that commitment.
We have lost credibility and lost standing with our Pacific neighbours, who have pleaded with Australia to take leadership on climate change.
A $500 million redirection of existing aid doesn’t cut it in the Pacific. It doesn’t matter how many solar panels you put on people’s roofs if their nation goes under water.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.