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Coal comfort: Pacific islands on collision course with Australia over emissions

Volume 23, Issue 1

July, 2017

From page
25
to page
31
Morgan, W. (2017). Coal comfort: Pacific islands on collision course with Australia over emissions. Pacific Journalism Review, 23(1), 25-31. doi: 10.24135/pjr.v23i1.311
Author(s): Wesley Morgan
Publication date: 
July, 2017

Commentary: During 2017, Fiji is president of negotiations under the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  It is the first time the talks have been headed by a small island developing country, and Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama plans to use the 23rd Conference of Parties to highlight the impacts of climate change on island states.  Even as Pacific island leaders demand greater action to reduce emissions, the Australian government is supporting new coal mines at home and a dramatic increase in coal exports.  This commentary focuses on Pacific leadership in the global fight to avoid catastrophic changes to the climate system.  It suggests determined diplomacy by island states may help shift international opinion in favour of urgent action to reduce emissions. However, Pacific states must first shine a spotlight on their recalcitrant neighbour, and avoid being silenced by Australian ‘climate diplomacy’.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24135/pjr.v23i1.311