Ardern Backs Pacific On Climate, Puts Heat On Australia
Umer Jamshaid 11 days ago Wed 14th August 2019 | 01:40 PM
Wellington, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Aug, 2019 ) :New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday backed Pacific leaders' calls for urgent action on climate change, ramping up pressure on Australia to overhaul its stance on global warming.
But its role is in doubt after leaders of the low-lying nations questioned in recent days whether Australia's climate-sceptic leader is committed to curbing a problem they see as a fundamental threat to their survival.
Greenpeace campaigner Joseph Moeono-Kolio said Morrison's government appeared intent on watering down the summit's communique, due to be issued Thursday, which is set to demand urgent action on climate change.
"Australia is poised to become the pariah of the Pacific," he said.
Moeono-Kolio said among the measures deemed unacceptable by Australians were calls to ban new coal mines and set a timeframe for phasing out use of the carbon-emitting fuel.
- 'Callous indifference' - "Scott Morrison has done the exact opposite of what the leaders of the Pacific have asked Australia to do and placed Pacific communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis in an even more precarious position," he said.
"Morrison's callous indifference to the plight of Pacific islanders suggests he has no problem sacrificing entire nations for the short-term profits of his backers in the coal industry." Morrison has staunchly defended Australia's climate record, insisting the country will meet its 2030 emissions reduction target set under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Australia will also be without a key ally on the climate front in New Zealand, which is now led by the progressive Jacinda Ardern rather than her conservative predecessor John Key.
"To hold a forum on an island where climate change is not a theoretical proposition but is very much a reality and a visual reality I think will be quite pointed," she told reporters.
"Moving beyond coal and limiting warming to 1.5C have been the most consistent and urgent requests of Pacific island countries for many years," he said.
"For the Pacific, these commitments are a matter of survival."