Kiribati climate activists want more from Australia and New Zealand

Climate activists in Kiribati say they want more support from Australia and New Zealand for the Pacific’s new focus on climate change as a security threat.

At last week’s Pacific Islands Forum meeting regional leaders reiterated that climate change is the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and well-being of Pacific people.

The newly signed BOE Declaration reaffirmed their pledge to the Paris agreement and called on the United States to reconsider its threat to withdraw from the global commitment.

But regional experts in security studies and Pacific geopolitics say it is disturbing Australia is driving a strong security agenda while undermining the importance of climate change action by regional leaders.

The Kiribati Climate Action Network’s Pelenise Alofa said it’s disappointing the Pacific’s closest allies are not full onboard when it comes to climate change.

“We live with the impacts of climate change. But when things are not done properly like there is big talk about the Pacific people put climate change as a priority but there is almost no response from Australia,” said Pelenise Alofa.

“It is disappointing that is why we want to continue advocating and marching and rallying against our big brothers like Australia and New Zealand”

Last week more than 200 people from 40 communities in Kiribati marched in the capital Tarawa to witness leaders sign a pledge to work towards moving to 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2020.

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