In response to the Pacific Islands Forum’s recognition of the security threat posed by climate change, Australian Conservation Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said:

“Australia’s signature on the Boe Regional Security Declaration at the Pacific Islands Forum is welcome recognition from the Morrison Government of the importance of the Paris Agreement and the security threat climate change poses to our region.

“But this international commitment by our nation must be matched by domestic action. Australia’s climate pollution is rising, and we have observed another collapse of domestic policy to cut emissions from electricity generation.

“Australia should be a leader among Pacific nations when it comes to tackling climate pollution. Not only are Australians among the highest emitters per person in the world, but we are a wealthy and powerful nation of the Pacific. 

“Australians know all about climate damage, with droughts, bushfires and water shortages becoming more common and more extreme. Our neighbours in the Pacific face existential climate threats through sea-level rise, storm surges and salt-contaminated water supplies. Climate change is a common threat that we share.

“It’s not surprising that Pacific leaders have been unhappy with Australia on climate change with the Morrison Government turning up at the Pacific Islands Forum with no real plan to cut our domestic pollution and without a clear indication that it intends to develop one.

“Having no concrete climate policy has real world implications.

“Only concerted global action will keep global warming under control. The Paris Agreement is the framework for action and Australia must do our fair share, lift our ambition and then meet our targets.”

Josh Meadows

Media Adviser at the Australian Conservation Foundation