Story submitted by Eric Worrall
From Australia Network News: Pacific presidents speak out against Australia’s stand on climate change
Leaders of small Pacific nations have spoken out against Tony Abbott’s efforts to organise a global coalition against Obama’s climate push.
The comments from the presidents of Kiribati and Marshall Islands came as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott met US President Barrack Obama for formal talks in Washington.
The leaders suggested Australia’s climate stance under Tony Abbott risked further isolating Australia from the Pacific.
Kiribati’s President Anote Tong says climate change is an issue of survival for Pacific Island states, not just economics.
“We’re not talking about the growth GDP, we’re not talking about what it means in terms of profit and losses of the large corporations, we’re talking about our survival,” he told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat
President Anote Tong has received strong criticism in recent years for the rise of authoritarianism under his rule, such as the recent forced closure of an independent newspaper critical of his government.
Politicians who crush dissent, free speech and criticism of government mistakes are rarely associated with a healthy domestic economy, so President Tong may be counting on future climate wealth transfers from Western countries to help prop up his regime.