Green - Fiji Leader Rejects Bad Advice
As Fiji undertakes the process of moving entire communities away from rising seas - a temporary solution at best - the island nation's Prime Minister is rejecting some questionable advice from Aussie pols.
Instead of getting off of coal, Liberal MP John Alexander is suggesting that Australia should put its efforts into helping people in the Pacific Islands move to higher ground. And former PM Kevin Rudd Australia should offer citizenship to Pacific islanders whose homes are threatened by Climate Change, in exchange for control of their fisheries.
"In a time where we must be future-facing, we can hardly tolerate such insensitive, neo-colonial prescriptions," said Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama. "I implore leaders of Australia to visit these communities and see them first-hand before they propose solutions that are so blatantly out of touch with the reality we Pacific islanders live with on the ground, day in and day out."
In a speech at the Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Bainimarama explained how the rising seas are inundating sugar cane field and ancestral burial grounds, worrying the people who live in these low-lying areas.
"They have no choice - it is a matter of survival," Bainimarama said. "But despite the enormous difficulty of these decisions, Fiji is lucky we even have the higher ground to allow for relocation at all. I'm keen to hear what (Alexander) believes the people of Kiribati should do in the face of rising seas, where the highest point in their country sits at just 1.8 meters above sea level."