26 Jul 2019

Australia out of step over climate change - Greenpeace

7:51 am on 26 July 2019

While the Australian Government continues to push its so called Pacific Step-Up, the environmental NGO Greenpeace says if they don't take action on climate change they should step aside.

The Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, who is currently in Fiji for the Pacific Forum foreign ministers' meeting, said Pacific leaders should be pleased Australia was meeting its commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne in Suva

Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne in Suva Photo: RNZ/Lice Movono

In an interview that aired in Australia before Ms Payne left for Fiji, she defended her government's policies and rejected demands from Pacific countries for the region's biggest emitter to do more to tackle climate change.

She said Australia was serious about meeting its commitments to the Paris Agreement.

Under the Paris Agreement, Australia is committed to cutting emissions per capita by 50 percent by 2030, but Greenpeace said because of its support for the coal export sector, Australia's emissions were rising.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific spokesperson, Joe Moeono-Kolio, said the Australian logic was self defeating.

"On the one hand you have got Australia saying they are committed to the Pacific and calling the Pacific family and then in the same breath they are doing things at home that are threatening to burn down the whole house," he said.

"They are propping up the coal industry, so their domestic policy, certainly the energy policy, doesn't really feel in line with the rhetoric that's coming out."

An undated file photo shows a coal-fired power station in Australia

A coal-fired power station in Australia Photo: 123RF