Australian news, and some related international items

Very reluctantly, Australian govt signs declaration on Pacific climate threat

Australia signs declaration on Pacific climate ‘threat’, islands call on US to return to Paris deal, ABC News, By Pacific affairs reporter Stephen DziedzicMichael Walsh and Jack Kilbride, 5 Sept 18 

 Australia, New Zealand and Pacific nations have signed a declaration highlighting climate change as “the single greatest threat” to Pacific people, while island nations called on the United States to return to the Paris agreement.

Key points:

  • The declaration expands the idea of regional security to include environmental issues
  • It specifically names climate change as the region’s “single greatest threat”
  • It recognises that the Pacific is “increasingly crowded” in terms of geopolitics

The communique was signed at the end of the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru, attended by large and small island states as well as New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

But there was last-minute wrangling over the language on climate change, with some Pacific nations privately accusing Australia of trying to water down the final declaration from leaders.

Australia would also not back a statement from small island states which calls for countries to “urgently accelerate” reductions in carbon emissions.

Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga didn’t directly name Australia, but when pressed by journalists confirmed a country “starting with a capital A” had objected.

“The issues are so critical for leaders of smaller island states because of their vulnerability to climate change,” Mr Sopoaga said.

“We appealed to Forum leaders to endorse [the statement] so we can walk the talk.”

Australia and New Zealand also didn’t join a call from other Pacific Island Forum members for the United States to re-join the Paris climate change agreement.

Washington formally announced it would withdraw from the landmark climate agreement in August last year.

The Boe Declaration is named after the district in Nauru it was signed in.

It declares that climate change “remains the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific”.

Leaders also signed a communique saying they would work together in the lead-up to this year’s COP24 climate conference in Poland, in order to “ensure effective progress on Pacific priorities with regards to the Paris Agreement”…….


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

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