Australia offers climate funding to Pacific islands

2019-08-14 05:56
An image that shows sled dogs wading through standing water on the sea ice during an expedition in North Western Greenland has gone viral.

An image that shows sled dogs wading through standing water on the sea ice during an expedition in North Western Greenland has gone viral. (Steffen Olsen / Centre for Ocean and Ice at the Da)

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

Australia on Tuesday announced a A$500m ($340m) climate change package for Pacific island countries, which have been increasingly vocal in demanding their powerful neighbour curb its carbon emissions.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the funding, drawn from Australia's existing international aid budget, would help Pacific island nations invest in renewable energy and climate change resilience.

The climate-sceptic leader made the announcement before travelling to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Tuvalu, where island nations threatened by rising seas have vowed to put global warming at the top of the agenda.

READ | Ambitious plans under way for homegrown SA climate change model

Smaller members of the 18-nation grouping have been sharply critical of Australia's climate policies ahead of this year's summit amid a diplomatic push from Canberra to counter China's growing power in the region.

High-level representatives from the likes of Tuvalu, Palau and Vanuatu have criticised Australia for not doing enough, with Fiji's Frank Bainimarama saying Canberra's reliance on coal poses an "existential threat" to low-lying islands.

There has also been disquiet in the Pacific that Australia recently approved the giant Adani coal mine in Queensland state.

Morrison has staunchly defended Australia's climate record, insisting the country will meet its 2030 emissions reduction target set under the Paris Agreement.

"The $500m we're investing for the Pacific's renewable energy and its climate change and disaster resilience builds on the $300m for 2016-2020," he said in a statement.

"This highlights our commitment to not just meeting our emissions reduction obligations at home but supporting our neighbours and friends."

Greenpeace said the package was nothing more than a diversion of funds from Australia's Pacific aid programme and "a slap in the face to regional leaders".

"This $A500m accounting trick will do nothing to address the cause of the climate crisis that threatens the viability of the entire Pacific," Greenpeace's Pacific head Joseph Moeono-Kolio said in a statement.

The tussle over climate action comes as Australia attempts to reassert its influence in the Pacific through its "step-up" strategy, which some regional leaders have warned is likely to fail without meaningful climate action.

The PIF summit officially opens late on Tuesday and continues until Thursday.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    greenpeace  |  austrailia  |  climate change
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
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.