The climate change advocacy group 350.org Pacific today called on Patrick Suckling, the Australian government’s Ambassador for the Environment, to immediately remove his support for the Adani Carmichael coal mine.
If the Carmichael mine goes ahead, it would be the biggest coal mine in Australia and one of the biggest in the world, the group said in a statement.
The annual emissions from burning the coal it produces would be similar to those of the whole of Malaysia or Austria, and more than New York City, 350.org Pacific said.
“With Fiji playing an important role in the process of implementing the Paris Agreement, the support by Australia for the continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry is a slap in the face of the vulnerable Pacific Islands.
“If the Australian government has seriously recognised the plight of the Pacific in dealing with climate change and rising sea levels, they must look at its complicity in the problem the Pacific is facing,” 350.org Pacific coordinator Koreti Tiumalu said.
“The most effective move the Australian government could take is to immediately say no to the Carmichael coal mine and urgently take the necessary actions required to move away from fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy.
“As the world’s largest coal producer and one of the biggest per capita climate polluters, Australia has a responsibility to act swiftly on climate.
Call for genuine action
“If Australia wants to be good regional neighbors they must demonstrate genuine action and tackle the causes of climate change, by neither allowing new coal mines nor pushing for the construction of new coal power stations.”
In the lead up to COP23, 350 Pacific and the Pacific Climate Warriors will continue to highlight Australia’s “inaction” on climate change and urge Pacific leaders to rally together and call on Australia to end its fossil fuel expansion.
“Our Pacific leaders must remain vigilant for the future of our Islands – they know what is at stake and have in fact called for a global moratorium on coal mines.
“Fiji’s presidency at COP 23 this year will be a chance for the Pacific to emphasise how Australia’s inaction on climate change speaks louder than words,” Tiumalu said.