Taylor calls on other countries to reduce emissions with no plan of his own at COP25

MADRID, Dec 10, 2019 - Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor has ignored Australians suffering from bushfires and Pacific Islanders facing the obliteration of their homelands by refusing to outline a plan for Australia to honour the Paris Agreement.

Overnight Taylor delivered his keynote speech at the UN climate conference COP25 in Madrid, where he called on other countries to reduce their carbon pollution but failed to say how Australia, one of the world’s largest carbon polluters, would meet the challenge.

“People on the frontlines of the climate crisis, like Pacific Islanders facing the obliteration of their homes, need climate action now, not more empty words,” Former Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga said.

“Australia was prevented from speaking at the global climate action summit because they failed to come with a plan. Three months later nothing has changed. Climate change is the number one threat facing the Pacific Islands, by refusing to take the crisis seriously Scott Morrison has no right to call the Pacific family.”

Taylor’s speech also drew criticism from School Strikes 4 Climate organiser, Daisy Jeffrey, who is on the ground at COP25 in Madrid.

“Hundreds of thousands of people across Australia, of all ages, have shown time and time again they want the Coalition to address the climate emergency. Australians are losing their lives to catastrophic bushfires and choking on air pollution. The need for action is now more urgent than ever,” the 17-year-old Australian said.

“By failing to come up with a plan to respond to the climate emergency the government has again proved incapable of dealing with the biggest threat Australians are facing and suffering from right now. Angus Taylor is gambling with my future and the futures of millions of other Australian children for the short term profit of the coal industry.”

Greenpeace Head of Pacific, Joseph Moeono-Kolio, echoed the calls of Pacific leaders, saying the lack of a plan from the Australian Federal Government showed it was neglecting its own people suffering from bushfires and air pollution, as well as the entire Pacific region.

“With Australia on fire and the Pacific drowning, Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor can no longer deny the human and ecological suffering caused by the climate crisis,” he said.

“We now know with absolute certainty the impacts of the crisis and what that would mean if the Australian Federal Government continues on its current head-in-the-sand trajectory. If Morrison truly cares for the countless Australian and Pacific peoples suffering from the current impacts of climate change, then the right thing to do is to muster the fortitude and take decisive action – not just offer more thoughts and prayers.”

Greenpeace Australia Pacific delegates are in Madrid for COP25 and are working with Pacific Island leaders to amplify calls for urgent climate action into the media.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner, Martin Zavan (in Madrid)
+61 424 295 422
[email protected]

James Norman (in Australia)

+61 451 291 775

[email protected]