14 Aug 2019

Tuvalu leader blasts Australia over coal mining

From Checkpoint, 6:06 pm on 14 August 2019

As the Prime Minister arrives in the tiny set of atolls that makes up Tuvalu, the small nation's leader has taken aim at Australia, despite a huge aid package to help it cope with climate change.

Scott Morisson has promised $500 million to help Tuvalu adapt to rising sea levels and food shortages, but Enele Sopoaga says Australia is trying to buy off support and to shut him up about the damaging threats of coal mining.

He says the aid doesn't give Australia an excuse to rely on coal.

Jacinda Ardern arrived on Funafuti and had this to say about the friction between Australia's coal policies and the plight of the Pacific.

RNZ political reporter Yvette McCulloch talks to Lisa Owen.