THE PACIFIC ISLANDS are facing obliteration as a result of climate change and Australia is contributing to their demise by failing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reallocated $500m in aid as a sweetener ahead of his arrival at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu today.
“It is good the Morrison government is thinking about aid in relation to climate change, but this kind of money can’t buy you love,” said the Climate Council’s Head of Research, Dr Martin Rice.
“Rising sea levels mean Pacific Island nations face being totally wiped out. Their very survival depends on the world rapidly and deeply reducing its greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dr Rice.
“As long as Australia continues to burn and export coal, oil and gas, life in the Pacific becomes more perilous. Australia’s emissions have been going up and up and up for five years,” said Dr Rice.
“It’s pointless to give away large sums of money while failing to address the root cause of the problem. It’s like putting a band-aid on an amputated limb,” he said.
Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga is calling on Australia not to open new coal mines and for existing coal mines to be phased out.
“Mr Sopoaga is right. The Morrison government clings to coal as though life depends on it. Life – as we know it – depends on giving up this polluting fossil fuel,” said Dr Rice.