By EDDIE OSIFELO
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare will present the report of the government’s trip to the recent 50th Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu in cabinet before tabling it in Parliament for debate.
Speaking in Parliament in response to Opposition Leader Matthew Wale yesterday, PM Sogavare said the report contains 20 fruitful bilateral meetings involving him and Minister of Foreign Affairs with other countries.
Sogavare said it is a good suggestion for Parliament to discuss it in a motion moved by Minister of Foreign Affairs on the report.
On climate change, Sogavare said it is sensitive issue to address in Leaders’ Summit especially smaller island states were pointing figures to big industrialise countries.
Sogavare said Australia’s emissions contribution is only one percent but Pacific Islands emissions high in per capita.
“In statistic, our emissions are high but the effects of it we suffer more.
“We take comfort because we had this Paris Agreement framework where by 2050, Australia should be zero,” he said.
Sogavare said after they can start look at full green energy.
“So when we talk about that, we also sensitive on our national security and interests as well.
“We signed a lot of agreements with Australia on security so that this Pacific is safer and peaceful. But it is a very important issue,” he said.
Further to that, Wale said much was said of Australia’s coal policy, if you can call it that.
He said it is clear that Australia will continue to mine, use and export coal.
“It is opening new coal mines.
“Australia is the world’s 3rd largest exporter of fossil fuels after Russia and Saudi Arabia, when you take LNG into account,” he said.
“We understand that it is not easy for any country to quickly transition its economy from reliance on fossil fuels for energy and export earnings to renewables.
“And that jobs are also at stake. That we understand,” he said.
“However, we must respectfully keep nudging Australia towards ambitious climate action.
“Australia is the largest, wealthiest and most powerful economy in our region and it is entirely reasonable and justifiable that the region should expect it to show leadership in climate action,” he said.
“When, as in this case, Australia refuses to provide leadership on this important issue, the region is weaker in the international fora, in its efforts to achieve greater ambition,” he added.
Parliament has adjourned to Monday, September 9.