Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s two-faced attitude to Pacific Islands on climate change

Australia relationship with Pacific on climate change ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘abusive’
Palau’s climate change coordinator says Australia provides aid to region but on world stage undermines attempts to halt global warming,
Kate Lyons in Koror and Ben Doherty 5 Sep 2018 Australia’s relationship with the Pacific region on the issue of climate change has been described as “dysfunctional” and “abusive” – providing aid to the region to deal with the effects of global warming but undermining attempts to halt its progress, according to a climate change representative for the Pacific nation of Palau.

Xavier Matsutaro, the national climate change coordinator for Palau, a small nation in the north-west Pacific, said Australia’s relationship with the Pacific was “dysfunctional”, adding that Australia was also responsible for diluting the strength of previous regional declarations on climate change.

Australia is a bit of an anomaly, because on the floor [of climate summits] they’re basically sometimes as far right as Trump in some of their views on climate change, at one point they even denied that it existed … But then on a regional basis they’ve actually given a lot of support to our region,” said Matsutaro.

Sometimes the way I think about it … it’s like you’re in a relationship and you get abused by your spouse but at the same time they feed you and clothe you and things like that,” he said. “You could say it’s a bit of a dysfunctional relationship.”…….

Matsutaro said Australia, which has historically been the key aid partner for the Pacific region, had supported projects in Palau related to climate change, including a coastal erosion project and research on coral bleaching. Australia even provided research on the impact of climate change on Palau which formed the basis for a section of Palau’s climate change policy.

But when it came time to make commitments on climate change, Matsutaro, who has attended COP meetings on Palau’s behalf for the last five years, said Australia was regularly out of sync with the rest of the region, and was responsible for diluting the strength of resolutions on the environment.

They’re responsible for making our declarations weaker sometimes in the region. So there’s been forums that were formulated so [Australia] won’t be involved in it, they’re not members, so that whatever language that really reflects our views and our circumstances is actually reflected in the declaration,” he said.

Pacific leaders have called for Australia to do more to reduce emissions and act to curb the effects of climate change……..


September 7, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international

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