Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele of Samoa lashed out at leaders of the United States, China, India and Australia for not doing their bit to prevent climate change.
Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele hits out at climate change sceptics during fiery speech
By Pacific affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic
Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has lashed out at climate sceptics and urged Australia to make deeper cuts to carbon emissions to help save Pacific Island nations from the “disaster” of climate change.
- Mr Sailele says “greater ambition” is needed to stop impact of climate change
- He warns geostrategic competition is creating uncertainty for small Pacific countries
- Australia, New Zealand and the US have been scrambling to reassert influence in the Pacific
Mr Sailele told the Lowy Institute in Sydney that climate change posed an “existential challenge” to low lying islands in the Pacific, and developed countries needed to reduce pollution in order to curb rising temperatures and sea levels.
“We all know the problem, we all know the solutions, and all that is left would be some political courage, some political guts, to tell people of your country there is a certainty of disaster,” Mr Sailele said.
Prime Minister Sailele also criticised loans from China which he believes are burdening Pacific nations with unsustainable debt.
“Some might say there is a patronising nuance, believing Pacific nations did not know what they were doing, or were incapable of reaping benefits of close relationships with countries that will be in the region for some time to come.
“One has the tendency to be bemused by the fact that the reaction is an attempt to hide what we see as strategic neglect.”
Read more: same link as above
From a video of his comments;
… We all know the problems, we all know the costs, we all know the solutions, and all that is left would be some political courage, some political guts, to get out tell the people of your country do this, do this, the certainty of disaster. So when any political leader in Australia or in Samoa or in China or in the free countries that are responsible for all this disaster, China, India and also the United States, and any leader of this country who believes there is no climate change he ought be taken to a mental confinement, he is utter stupid, and I same the same thing for any leader here [Australia] who say there is no climate change …
Tuilaepa Sailele seems one of the more competent and honest Pacific leaders, so its a shame to see him get the climate issue so wrong. Perhaps he should do some more research before demanding mental confinement for people who disagree with him.