Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is set to be confronted by leaders of several Pacific Island nations who seek to take the leader to task for his stance on emissions reduction, according to Monday reports.
Abbott has been accused of ignoring calls to push stronger emissions reduction targets from Pacific Island leaders, including the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sosene Sopoaga, the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, and Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who warned that climate change caused by global rising temperatures could threaten their existence.
The leaders declared last week that they are concerned that policy leaders are not doing enough to address the impact that climate change will have on their nations.
The leaders will present their case in a meeting with Abbott at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, later this week, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
However, their views are expounded in a report published over the weekend by Oxfam Australia. The report claims that the policies of the Australian and New Zealand governments are "threatening the very survival of some Pacific nations" by failing to guarantee emissions targets that would prevent a global temperature rise of two degrees Celsius, which experts say is the threshold for preventing irreversible climate change.
It called on both Australia and New Zealand to “do the right thing” and institute stronger climate control measures at the Port Moresby meeting, warning that they had already failed to heed the lessons from the “wake-up call” of Cyclone Pam, which inflicted severe damage on Vanuatu, as well as major flooding in Kiribati and Tuvalu earlier this year.
"Australia and New Zealand must substantially increase their current emissions reduction targets," Oxfam Australia CEO Helen Szoke said in a statement, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Szoke is set to attend the three-day summit at Port Moresby this week. "But they also need to provide clarity on how they will meet their international climate finance commitments and help ensure vulnerable communities in the Pacific can access the support they need."
The meeting is reportedly expected to consider endorsing a proposed declaration that would call for a sweeping new global climate agreement during a summit at Paris in December.
Other climate watchdogs have also denounced Australia’s plans as insufficient to meet global emissions targets. Its proposed plan to slash emission levels by at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 is already the weakest among developed nations, but an August report from Climate Action Tracker found that the country is on track to increase emissions to 27 percent above 2005 levels by 2030.