FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10 NOVEMBER 2023
THE CLIMATE COUNCIL welcomes the Australian Government's dual commitment – at the Pacific Islands Forum – to offer residency to Tuvalu citizens and to increase financial aid to Pacific nations facing climate threats. The Government should now build on these positive announcements with a solid plan to phase out fossil fuels to tackle the risks threatening Pacific Islands communities at their source.
Funding for the Green Climate Fund and the Pacific Resilience Facility is a positive step. It formalises a partnership to help Tuvalu with climate adaptation funding and projects. Today’s announcement also establishes a pathway for Tuvaluans to safely relocate to Australia, recognising Australia’s duty of care as Pacific neighbours.
These positive actions throw Australia’s ongoing commitment to extracting fossil fuels into sharp relief.
Pacific nations have made it clear that what they need most is a swift move away from fossil fuels. Germany and the European Union are also calling on Australia to support a phase-out of fossil fuels at next month’s COP28 climate talks in Dubai.
Senior Researcher at the Climate Council Dr Wesley Morgan said: "The government's outreach to our Pacific neighbours who are on the frontline of this crisis is commendable.
“But our first responsibility must be to get emissions down as fast as possible so that we can minimise the risk of people being forced from their homes, the communities and environments that sustain them.
“That means leaving fossil fuels in the ground, so the Australian Government needs a solid plan to phase out fossil fuels. Pacific communities want a safe and thriving future in their own homes first and foremost.”
Nicki Hutley, Climate Councilor and economist, said: "While it's good that Australia is providing resilience funding, it’s a little meaningless if we also keep funding the industry that's causing the problem in the first place."
The Climate Council urges the Australian government to take decisive action to curb fossil fuels. The time for bold leadership is now. Australia can and should be at the forefront of the global transition to a renewable energy future.
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.
For further information, go to: climatecouncil.org.au
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