Fiji leader blasts Australia as 'selfish'

2014-06-19 07:28
Fiji's military leader Voreqe Bainimarama. (William West, AFP)

Fiji's military leader Voreqe Bainimarama. (William West, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Suva - Fijian leader Voreqe Bainimarama accused the global community on Thursday of abandoning Pacific island nations to "sink below the waves" instead of tackling climate change, singling out "selfish" Australia for criticism.

Opening a regional summit, he said there was "collective disappointment and dismay" in the Pacific at the failure to address climate change, which scientists blame for rising seas that threaten many low-lying island nations.

"The rising sea levels caused by global warming threaten the very existence of some of our neighbours, Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands", he told the Pacific Islands development forum (PIDF).

"[They] are already swamping the coastal areas of many Pacific nations, including Fiji.

"Yet if anything, the collective will of the global community to adequately address this crisis is receding", he told the summit, where Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was guest of honour.

Bainimarama noted "a distinct change of rhetoric" from Australia on climate change since conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott was elected last year.

Abbott said earlier this month that he would not adopt any climate policies that would "clobber the economy".

"I appeal to Australia and other countries not to behave selfishly over the catastrophic prospect facing small island developing states", Bainimarama said.

"History will judge you harshly if you abandon us to our apparent fate of sinking below the waves because you don't want to make the necessary adjustment to your domestic policies."

Yudhoyono said climate change was among the greatest challenges facing the world and announced Indonesia was allocating $20m to help minimise its impact in the Pacific.

"Indonesia has a strong commitment to broaden its network of co-operation with PIDF countries in mitigating the impact of climate change", he said.

Yudhoyono also said he wanted two-way trade between Indonesia and Pacific island nations to triple to $1.0bn in coming years.
Read more on:    tony abbott  |  australia  |  fiji  |  climate change

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.