Australian coal use an 'existential threat' to islands: Fiji PM

Australian coal use an 'existential threat' to islands: Fiji PM

In a statement, Morrison said the measure highlighted Australia's "commitment to not just meeting our emissions reduction obligations at home but supporting our neighbours and friends", adding the country was "doing [its] part to cut global emissions".

"With Tuvalu at the frontline of global climate change I look forward to progressing ways to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change so we have the strongest possible climate resilience across the Pacific".

'It will not fix Australia's reputation with our Pacific neighbours that has been damaged by this government's reactionary stance on climate change, ' labour climate change spokesman Pat Conroy said.

"I think there's going to be more investment into the Pacific than we've seen for a long time", he said.

"They do demonstrate the commitment that we have to a cleaner blue in the Pacific."

Pacific analyst Dr Tess Newton Cain expects the PIF Leaders Meeting will come to an agreed statement on climate change, but warns Australia may need to make concessions.

Morrison Government wants a Pacific "step up" amid changing regional dynamicsPhoto PNG and other Pacific nations have moved closer to China.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says his views until now on the place of Australia and New Zealand at the Pacific Islands Forum are well known but they are in a new era in which both countries are attempting to re-engage in a more respectful and inclusive way and he warmly welcomes that.

China, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and the United Kingdom have all been focusing more attention on the Pacific because of the region's geo-strategic importance.

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Dr Newton Cain said Australia's financial support is not enough on its own to secure enduring partnerships with the Pacific.

Other countries from further overseas are seeking closer relations with the Pacific, with both Norway and Chile applying to become dialogue partners.

Labor's Pat Conroy believes stronger climate change policies are key to lasting relationships.

Australia announced a Aus$500 million ($340 million) climate change package for Pacific countries Tuesday but received a lukewarm response from low-lying island nations demanding urgent action from their powerful neighbour to curb its carbon emissions.

As well as the shifting geopolitics of the region, the power dynamics within the PIF are changing, too.

Leaders from 18 different countries will meet in Tuvalu today for the 50th annual Pacific Islands Forum meeting.

"The Pacific is our home, which we share as a family of nations", Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Tuesday, ahead of a visit to Tuvalu to participate in the Pacific Islands Forum.

But host Tuvalu will be ensuring their visitors can't avoid their biggest challenge: climate change and its threat to the nation's fragile reefs.

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