Australia Offers USD 340 Million in Climate Funding to Pacific Islands

13 Août, 2019, 19:56 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Children sitting submerged in the sea around their island home in a symbolic welcome to Pacific Leaders arriving at the Pacific Islands Forum 2019

Beginning in Fiji today (12 August), Minister Wheeler will be shown the impacts of climate change in the region and the visit some of the innovative projects that the United Kingdom and Fiji are pioneering to respond to these challenges.

"Scott Morrison's priority ... must be to ramp up ambition on climate change", said Pat Conroy, Labor's spokesman on global development and the Pacific.

In a statement, Morrison said the funding "highlights our commitment to not just meeting our emissions reduction obligations at home but supporting our neighbours and friends".

Pacific analyst Dr Tess Newton Cain expects the PIF Leaders Meeting will come to an agreed statement on climate change, but warns Australia may need to make concessions.

"It would be very unusual for there to be a stalemate", she said.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says his views until now on the place of Australia and New Zealand at the Pacific Islands Forum are well known but they are in a new era in which both countries are attempting to re-engage in a more respectful and inclusive way and he warmly welcomes that.

Following an agreement at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Cairns on Friday to end the export of recyclables - with the timetable to be thrashed out by state environment leaders later this year - Scott Morrison said the deal was in part aimed at addressing the environmental concerns of Pacific nations.

As a result, Australia's ties with the region have been strained, opening the door to the China.

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Australia has always been the biggest donor of aid and development funds in the region, but China is making in-roads through both loans to governments and investment in the private sector.

Photo Fiji's Prime Minister recently told Mr Morrison that climate change is "no laughing matter".

Declaring a climate emergency, Pacific Island leaders have called for stronger action by developed countries, including Australia which has so far refused to strengthen emission targets in order to protect its coal mining industry.

The Australian government has replied to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama's plea saying they are making a transition from coal energy overtime.

New Zealand is facing a critical test of its credibility on tackling the climate crisis and its ability to remain a trusted partner to the region as Pacific Island Forum leaders prepare to meet in Tuvalu this week, Oxfam New Zealand said today.

The aid will also fund a hydro electric power project in the Solomon Islands, roads and bridges in Papua New Guinea and climate resilient schools in Kiribati.

But host Tuvalu will be ensuring their visitors can't avoid their biggest challenge: climate change and its threat to the nation's fragile reefs.

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