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Pacific Islanders call on Australian Government for stronger climate action

Nov 1, 2021 | Media Releases

Australia must make a strong and serious case at Glasgow to cut carbon emissions to give its Pacific neighbours hope of avoiding a catastrophic temperature increase above 1.5°C degrees, according to the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations (PIANGO).

PIANGO, is the regional network of NGOs for 25 Pacific Islands countries and territories.

“A temperature rise beyond 1.5°C degrees is simply unfathomable,” said PIANGO Executive Director Emeline Siale Ilolahia.

“Any temperature rise beyond that would devastate our region and see some countries in the Pacific underwater.

“We are in a battle for survival and Australia’s voice is absolutely critical.

“Australia must lead by example and Prime Minister Morrison has the perfect opportunity to announce a proper plan to rapidly decarbonise at COP26.

“Developing countries will suffer the most due to the inaction of the world’s largest carbon emitters.

“This is a disgraceful injustice that must be rectified before it is too late.

“Net zero by 2050 is simply not good enough, the Australian Government must commit to net zero emissions by at least 2035.”

Dermot O’Gorman, CEO of WWF Australia and ACFID Board spokesperson said:

“Our Pacific neighbours are on front line in the fight against climate change. They are experiencing the most extreme impacts, they are taking the most ambitious action, and they are leading calls for world leaders to step up and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. And they’re doing all this despite having contributed the least to the problem,”

“This latest statement from Pacific NGOs highlights the need for urgent action and leaves no room for our government to hesitate. As our Prime Minister travels to Glasgow for COP26, we at ACFID urge him to take real steps to rapidly decarbonise our economy and support our Pacific neighbours to meet the challenges of climate change head on.”

Australian Council For International Development (ACFID) CEO Marc Purcell said Australia can and must do more to help its Pacific neighbours:

“The absolute least we can do is set a responsible and achievable net zero target that reflects climate science.

“The outcome of COP26 and international climate cooperation more broadly will come down to trust. Developing countries will be forced to trust that the wealthiest countries, who have contributed the most to climate change, will follow through on their commitments.

“Australia must ensure it not only meets targets it sets but also provides new and additional funding to its neighbours in the Pacific that reflect the urgency and scale of the climate crisis.

ENDS

Contact: Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032

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