Malcolm Turnbull and Australian Coal making waves in the Pacific

While Turnbull is unlikely to do or say anything particularly useful there, his presence will make a big difference.

“As anyone who goes to regular office meetings knows, meetings can be more productive when some people aren’t in the room. It’s harder to talk about some problems when the cause is in the room.”

When the leaders of the Pacific island states meet and talk about climate change, they don’t mince their words. That’s because for low-lying nations like Kiribati and Tuvalu the plans of countries like Australia to double our coal exports and build more coal-fired power stations threaten to literally push them beneath the waves. For these vulnerable nations, climate change is not just a threat to their economies, it is a threat to their existence.

“Pacific island nations are opposed to rich countries like Australia building enormous new coal mines that imperil their people. It’s not hard to imagine why.”

Australia, of course, sees things differently. The Australian Prime Minister thinks that building new coal mines is not just a great way to create jobs in Queensland but also a great way to contribute to global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Read that last sentence again if you need to.

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