Australia, the world’s largest coal exporter, is actively trying to undermine the Pacific islands by continuing to promote coal – the dirtiest of the fossil fuels that are driving the world’s warming climate.
As Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull prepares to meet with his island counterparts this week in Apia, Samoa, Pacific civil society groups say Australia’s promotion of coal puts their communities at risk.
Pacific island countries, including some of the world’s most vulnerable low-lying islands, are demanding greater ambition to tackle climate change and renewed political commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement.
On Thursday, Pacific Islands Forum leaders will consider a ‘united’ Pacific voice to take to the COP23 climate negotiations in November. At those talks – to be held in Bonn, Germany – the world’s eyes will be on the Pacific as Fiji takes over as president of the UN climate negotiations, the first time a small island developing state has held this important role.
However, members of the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) say there is a low probability of an authentic ‘united’ Pacific voice being forged in Apia, with Australia’s presence and economic interests being historically responsible for watering-down regional climate declarations.
Australia’s continued promotion of coal – the dirtiest of the fossil fuels that are driving the world’s warming climate — jeopardises negotiation outcomes, and ultimately the safety of the entire Pacific region.
Maina Talia, from the Tuvalu Climate Action Network (TuCAN), said Pacific island leaders Read the rest of this entry »
The Pacific Week of Agriculture was officially launched yesterday with presentation of the event’s overarching theme and its branding. Agriculture Minister Matai Seremiah congratulated the organising committee for coming up with the theme of CROPS – standing for Culture, Resilience, Opportunities, Products and Sustainability.
The Minister said, “Government believes the theme fits in well with much of what Pacific countries are trying to achieve in the agriculture sector through their national agendas, and for Vanuatu, with the People’s Plan 2030. When it comes to tourism we have to talk about products. What kind of products do we want to produce to meet tourist demand?”
The first-ever Pacific Week of Agriculture PWA opens 16 October here in Port Vila and will become an annual event for the region’s farmers and agritourism businesses.
The event is being hosted by the Vanuatu Government, with support from the Pacific Community (SPC), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) in the Netherlands.
The Chief Trade adviser for the Forum Island Countries, Dr Edwin Kessie, defends the integrity of his position and denies he or his office takes instructions from Australia or New Zealand, he says Read the rest of this entry »
By Karen Allen
Something is seriously wrong in the Pacific.