Notes from our aviation casebook
That climate summit: Going through the motions

‘Morrison not listening’, say Pacific leaders

Sir David Attenborough and Governor Gary Juffa
Sir David Attenborough and Governor Gary Juffa at the Glasgow summit - “Sir David is so sharp and ever more passionate about our natural environment,” says Juffa


NOOSA – Scott Morrison’s announcement in Glasgow that “technology will have the answers” to saving the world from climate change has generated widespread disapproval from world leaders.

And his offer to increase Australia's climate funding by $100 million (K260 million) a year for the next five years to cover all Pacific Island and South-East Asian countries also left his audience cold.

Pacific leaders had told him they would rather he made sharper cuts to Australia's emissions.

Fiji prime minister Frank Bainimarama said he told Morrison to slash Australia's emissions by 2030.

Australia has adopted a net zero emissions target by 2050 but not established short-term targets.

"I've urged Scott Morrison to show us a concrete plan to halve emissions by 2030," Bainimarama said.

“I've given him a copy of Fiji's Climate Change Act as a guide –– it is our uniquely Fijian way of following the science to keep faith with future generations.”

The Australian federal opposition accused Morrison of embarrassing Australia on the world stage.

"It's just a continuation of the steaming pile of nothingness that we had in Australia before he left," said shadow energy minister Chris Bowen.

"It is a speech devoid of substance, it was more slogans, more spin.

"Scott Morrison wants a pat on the back for this announcement — he won't be getting one from us, and I doubt it he'll be getting one from Pacific nations."

Morrison not listening to Pacific


Cartoon - Australian WayPressed by journalists, Morrison agreed Pacific leaders had asked Australia to make bigger cuts by 2030.

“In every discussion I've ever had with Pacific Island leaders, that is something they've always encouraged us to do," he said.

But he asserted that Australia’s net zero commitment was enough to meet the expectations and “passion” of the Kainaki Declaration on climate change, agreed by Pacific Islands Forum leaders in 2019.

Bainimarama argued the future of some Pacific Island nations was at stake. "We have not travelled to the other end of the world to watch our future to be sacrificed at the altar of appeasement of the world's worst emitters," he said.

"The existence of our low-lying neighbours is not on the negotiating table.

“Humanity does not lack the resources, technology, projects, innovative potential to achieve it — all that is missing is the courage to act,” Bainimarama said.

The future has arrived, says Juffa

Cartoon - Scotts entourageGovernor Gary Juffa, one of the Papua New Guinean delegation, had the opportunity to talk with renowned environmentalist Sir David Attenborough, 95, at the summit.

“Sir David is so sharp and ever more passionate about our natural environment,” Juffa said.

“He spoke of the need for all to work together to avert the greatest threat to our species to date, global warming and climate change.

“Today, the whole world is experiencing significant natural disasters in frequency and intensity like never before in history.

“The rich nations, who have liquidated their natural environment to become exceptionally developed cash rich modernised societies at the expense of the developing nations, have been irresponsible to the future.

“That future has arrived and they now have to be responsible. There is really no choice if we are to survive as a species.”

‘Leaders don’t deserve our tears’

Samoan climate activist Brianna Fruean
Brianna Fruean - “We're not drowning, we're fighting”

Before leaving for Glasgow, PNG’s climate minister Wera Mori, also a delegate, said everyone in PNG should all be concerned about the recent findings of the new International Panel of Climate Change.

“This report is sounding the alarm and concludes that if we fail to act urgently, there will be catastrophic global consequences. And we’re already nearing abrupt climate tipping points.”

Samoan climate activist Brianna Fruean, 23, addressing world leaders at the summit opening said, “We're not drowning, we're fighting.”

In a first-person account, she described what it felt like to speak up for Pacific islanders whose homes and way of life are under threat from rising sea levels.

“The words I shared didn't just belong to me - they belong to my community, they belong to every single Pacific island,” Brianna said.

“I think that was really important for me to tell the world leaders that they don't need my tears and my pain - and quite frankly, they don't deserve it.”

Only four Pacific leaders at summit

Prasad Satyendra Prasad
Prasad Satyendra Prasad

Just four Pacific leaders - from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and Palau – were able to attend the forum in person.

COP26 is billed as the “last best shot” for the world to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, said Prasad Satyendra Prasad, Fiji's ambassador to the United Nations.

Prasad said this is crucial for Pacific nations battling more powerful tropical storms and rising sea levels.

He said Pacific negotiators will need to “work really hard” on crucial agenda items like climate finance,

Fiji is pushing rich governments to agree to deliver $750 billion (K2.6 trillion) a year to support climate action in poorer countries from 2025 - up from an annual pledge of $100 billion (K350 billion) which has so far not been delivered.

“It's sad that the Pacific is the least well-represented at this COP,” Prasad said.

“We know that not having a presence in the way that we would have in a normal year is a big disadvantage to the smallest countries.”

PNG islands are disappearing

Cartoon - outliarKevin Conrad, special climate change envoy for Papua New Guinea, said: "We are already seeing islands disappear in Papua New Guinea, communities are having to relocate.

"So what we want to see is actual ambition, finance and transparency.”

Conrad said the funding is urgent for PNG, which is already suffering from the impacts of the climate crisis.

“We need money to relocate people and deal with adapting to climate change that has to do also with food security,” he told Sky News.

Conrad was furious that the $100 billion target to support action in poorer countries had not been achieved, and warned world leaders that more funding is needed if PNG is to successfully evade a crisis.

“We are a bit upset that all the countries in the world cannot raise $100 billion,” he said.

“That was a goal set by [former UK prime minister] Gordon Brown over 11 years ago and we still haven't met it today.”

Sources: Daily Express, Frank Bainimarama (Twitter), PNG Post-Courier, BBC News, ABC News, Loop PNG, Manus Issues (Facebook)


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

William Dunlop

Well, it's quite clear that China, Russia and India hanging on their coattails take it as their given right to say 'bugger you; what's yours is mine, and what's mine's my own'.

And not forgetting Uncle Sam either. And Marcon, of course, spruiking in electoral mode.

Harry Topham

The climate debate heats up and all our Scotty can do is, try and spin the issue by referring to the possibility that science, technology and human ingenuity will in the future come to the rescue with new ideas and tools to solve the possible looming climate problem.

His remedy: Adopt the Scotty Plan, which is in fact no plan because it contains no detail whatsoever to address possible remedies available and as such is nothing more than a Claytons Plan.

Beam us up Scotty.

Philip Fitzpatrick

A succint and factual summary Chris.

Lindsay F Bond

That said, "cash rich modernised societies at the expense of the developing nations" makes for squabble between folk who are going to need to trust and connect and deliver together. The reality is, cash rich modernised societies have accumulated at the expense of all humanity, even against their own.

Foreshores everywhere are at just one measure of experiencing intrusion and then too, weather extremes will everywhere be yielding scant exclusion.

Serious indeed, yet let not humour falter, if it is asked whether Sir David Attenborough was inquiring of Governor Gary Juffa on availability of real estate at Hamara (inland near Oivi Ridge and Kokoda) for location to develop a beachside resort for "when the boats come in".

Also let's not forget COP26 is in Scotland... "An ye'll get a fishie In a little dishie, Ye'll get a fishie, whan the boat comes hame." See:

From this generation of "daddies" (maybe mostly males meeting at COP26?) what will the young find in
stance of uncoordinated dance?

Chris Overland

It must be apparent by now to all world leaders that the Australian Prime Minister and his government are merely going through the motions of committing to the 2050 target. Their policy is a confection of aspirational statements backed by no credible analysis and certainly no genuine commitment.

Their policy boils down to relying upon as yet unknown technologies to solve the problem and, of course, to piggy back on the efforts of others.

They refuse to specify the cost of getting the recalcitrant National Party to sign up to the target despite literally years spent demanding that the proponents of major climate change initiatives specify the cost down to the cent.

Of course, none of this really matters now. The huge emitters like China and India have no intention whatsoever of scaling back their emissions.

This is so because they are still determined to catch up with the western world in terms of wealth and power and energy generation is the key to this endeavour.

They are indifferent to the fate of the Pacific nations or, in fact, the world as a whole.

Unless and until the neoliberal juggernaut is at least slowed down significantly if not stopped altogether then talk about keeping the temperature rise at or below 1.5C is just so much hot air.

In that sense, Morrison is in lock step with most of the developed world which has shown neither the will nor the capacity to mouth other than platitudes and weasel words about climate change.

Our grandchildren will despise us for our greed, stupidity and folly.

Stephen Charteris

Global average atmospheric carbon dioxide in 2020 was 412.5 parts per million (ppm), setting a new record high.

The annual rate of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 60 years is about 100 times faster than natural increases, such as those that occurred at the end of the last ice age 11,000-17,000 years ago.

The ocean has absorbed enough carbon dioxide to lower its pH by 0.1 units, a 30% increase in acidity.

Last time atmospheric CO₂ amounts were this high was more than 3 million years ago, temperature was 2°–3°C higher than during the pre-industrial era, and sea level was 15–25 meters (50–80 feet) higher than today.

Ref: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Updated 7 October 2021

Bernard Corden

Here is the latest from The Juice Media:


Bit of a warning for readers who don't care for strong language or those at risk of dying laughing - KJ

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)