17 Dec 2009

Australia's Greens say Rudd leaning on Pacific over climate issue

7:11 pm on 17 December 2009

Australia's Green Party is accusing its government of trying to quieten down small Pacific nations which have been pushing for a strong legally binding agreement at the climate change conference in Copenhagen.

The comments come after Tuvalu's Prime Minister, Apisai Ielemia, told ABC radio he is being pressured by Australia to drop his call for global temperature rises to be limited to less than 1.5 degrees.

Australia's Green leader, Senator Bob Brown, says the office of the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is bullying island nations, and could be using its position as a major power in the region to influence its small neighbours

"That won't be explicit, but it's always implicit when one big country is talking to another country and demanding something, that there could be other interests at stake. And it's taking a lot of courage for the Pacific Island nations to stick to their guns, but their future is at stake."

Senator Brown says the Australian government at all costs wants an agreement in Copenhagen, and it's now shaping up to be a very weak one.