The Pacific can’t afford another climate groundhog day

MADRID, Dec 2 2019 - As heads of state gather in Madrid for the 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Pacific leaders are calling for a rapid reduction in coal use to be central to any plan addressing the climate crisis.

Any credible plan to confront the climate crisis must include a rapid replacement of coal with clean energy sources, in order to safeguard the future of Pacific peoples, their island homes, livelihoods and cultures.

“The big polluters have no excuse not to reduce emissions, no matter how much money they put on the table,” Greenpeace Australia Pacifc, Head of Pacific, Joseph Moeono-Kolio said. 

Mr Moeono-Kolio also singled out Australia, which is the world’s largest coal exporter and continues to develop new mines despite scientific warnings that the planet cannot afford to burn all the coal that has already been discovered.

“I hope Scott Morrison and the coal huggers in his government, who call the Pacific family, can be more sympathetic of the plight of their “Pacific family” in the low-lying islands like Tuvalu and other small island countries that are already facing the daily impacts of rising sea levels. Coal is the primary driver of that,” Mr Moeono-Kolio said.

 

“If Mr Morrison is serious when he calls the Pacific ‘family’, he has to listen to the people of the region and its leaders who are all saying that coal is the number one cause of the climate crisis that is threatening lives and livelihoods in the Pacific. Any credible response to the climate crisis must involve sharply reducing coal use and exports.

“So far, Australia has been obstinate. If Mr Morrison’s Pacific rhetoric is to be believed Australia will listen to the clear and unified call of the Pacific and rein in its surging emissions. There can be no genuine friendship between Australia and the Pacific while Australia ignores us and continues to damage our present and jeopardise our future to appease the coal barons.”

 

Notes

Video and audio grabs available here

 

For interviews

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner, James Norman

0451 291 775

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