Australia bullies Pacific Islands in Copenhagen

Australia has shamefully won the Fossil of the Day Award on day ten of the Copenhagen negotiations for pressuring our neighbours in the Pacific islands, in particular Tuvalu, to water down their demands and accept a 2 degrees and 450 parts per million CO2 agreement, which would all but guarantee that their islands and way of life are completely destroyed and would also result in the deaths of millions of people world-wide!

According to the Prime Minister of Tuvalu,:

“There are some countries like Australia who have been trying to arrange a meeting with us to probably water down our position on 1.5 degrees celsius. We did not attend that meeting, but I heard from other small islands that Australia was trying to tell them if they agree to the 2 degrees limit, money would be on the table for adaptation process. That’s their choice to accept the money and back down. But Tuvalu will not. As I said in my speech, 1.5 degrees celsius is our bottom line…

“I as a human being feel that the leaders that are pushing their countries to adopt this 2 degrees they should know from science that that will be killing a lot of people around the world, that should change their position. I will not sign anything less than 1.5.”

When challenged, Prime Minister Rudd did not deny that Australia had tried to get Pacific Islands to effectively sign a suicide pact, but said it was all part of the conference process.

Greens Senator Bob Brown criticised Mr Rudd for his actions, “Our Prime Minister’s office has undertaken a concerted campaign to bully island nations, in particular the outspoken Tuvalu, into dropping their demand that the world limit temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.

“The proposals championed by Mr Rudd will lead to global warming of almost 4 degrees, breaching the 2 degree limit that he claims they are aimed at.

“This is essentially a nasty political exercise on behalf of the coal industry and other big polluters who are devoid of any consideration for these small island states.”

Rudd says one thing on climate change, but his actions tell a very different story. Australian negotiators have been furiously working behind the scenes to sabotage any meaningful deal. Rudd’s actions in the Copenhagen summit are the same as when Howard was in power – do whatever it takes to avoid any meaningful action on climate change to keep your rich mates in the fossil fuel industries happy.

Kevin Rudd has called climate change “the greatest moral challenge of our generation”. His deeply immoral actions show that he is failing this challenge.