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Pacific island nations critical of climate sceptics, call on Australia to act on climate change, and to help them

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele hits out at climate change sceptics during fiery speech, ABC News 31 Aug 18 

Key points:

  • Mr Sailele says “greater ambition” is needed to stop impact of climate change
  • He warns geostrategic competition is creating uncertainty for small Pacific countries
  • Australia, New Zealand and the US have been scrambling to reassert influence in the Pacific

Mr Sailele told the Lowy Institute in Sydney that climate change posed an “existential challenge” to low lying islands in the Pacific, and developed countries needed to reduce pollution in order to curb rising temperatures and sea levels.

“We all know the problem, we all know the solutions, and all that is left would be some political courage, some political guts, to tell people of your country there is a certainty of disaster,” Mr Sailele said.

The Prime Minister’s intervention came as some Coalition MPs press the new Prime Minister Scott Morrison to abandon Australia’s promise to cut carbon emissions under the Paris agreement.

New Foreign Minister Marise Payne is also expected to face questions about Australia’s climate change policies at the Pacific Islands Forum leader’s meeting in Nauru next week.

Senator Payne and Pacific leaders are set to sign the “Biketawa Plus” security agreement, which declares that climate change remains the “single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific”.

Several other leaders — including Fiji’s Prime Minster Frank Bainimarama and the Marshall Island’s President Hilda Heine — have also called on Australia to do more to cut emissions.

Mr Sailele told the audience that “greater ambition” was needed to stop the destructive impact of climate change.

“While climate change may be considered a slow onset threat by some in the region, its adverse impacts are already being felt by Island communities,” he said……… http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-31/samoan-prime-minister-hits-out-at-climate-change-sceptics/10185142

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August 31, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, OCEANIA

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