In the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) climate change is seen as an existential threat. ‘Existential’ in the sense that life for the Pacific islanders is embedded in community and place. Shifting to higher ground somewhere else is not a solution. (See Geoff Henderson’s excellent guest post Climate refugees in the Central Pacific -the Republic of Kiribati)
To put the best construction on what happened, Pacific leaders and Australia agreed to disagree about action on climate change.
PIF chair, Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, said to Australian PM Scott Morrison:
- “You are concerned about saving your economy in Australia … I am concerned about saving my people in Tuvalu.”