Australia

PM Morrison says Australia climate target to remain unchanged, despite Fiji's criticism

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The prime minister says Australia's emissions reduction targets will stay the same, despite criticism from Fiji about the need for a rapid shift to clean energy sources.

Scott Morrison is sticking with Australia's climate change targets despite strong criticism from Fiji about the urgent need to move to clean energy.

The prime minister says Australia's emissions reduction targets will stay the same, but he did commit to spending money to help Pacific nations tackle the efforts of climate change.

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said Australia cannot put the interests of one industry ahead of the lives of Pacific islanders.

Scott Morrison with former rugby league player Petero Civoniceva and Executive Chair of Fiji National Rugby League Peni Musunanasi in Suva.
Scott Morrison with former rugby league player Petero Civoniceva and Executive Chair of Fiji National Rugby League Peni Musunanasi in Suva.

"We have sensible, achievable commitments that will continue to ensure that Australia has a prosperous economy, and Australians will have the choices that they want in the future," Mr Morrison said in response on Friday.

"While at the same time respecting the need to address the real impacts of climate change, both here in the Pacific and elsewhere around the world."

Mr Morrison said Australia's emissions reduction targets were discussed in a meeting with Mr Bainimarama on Thursday.

"We are already pursuing those policies in a way that I believe is consistent with what the prime minister is expecting of Australia," Mr Morrison said.

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Fiji PM tells Scott Morrison 'Australian coal is killing the pacific
Fiji PM tells Scott Morrison 'Australian coal is killing the pacific

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the coalition government has no climate policy.

"It's a bit embarrassing that he had to go to Fiji to be told that he's doing nothing on climate change, when in fact millions of Australians could have told him that in Australia," Mr Shorten told reporters.

Mr Morrison also announced funding to support a Fijian team in the NSW rugby league super premiership, and a preseason NRL game in Fiji in 2021.

Mr Morrison will visit Black Rock on Friday, where Australia is funding an expansion of the military training centre.

The centre will be used to train militaries from around the Pacific islands.

The announcements are part of a "vuvale" partnership - from the Fijian word for family - that Mr Morrison and Mr Bainimarama agreed to on Thursday.

Mr Bainimarama said the relationship had been "rocky" after his 2006 military coup, but the return of free elections in 2014 had led to a thaw with Australia.

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Scott Morrison receives warm welcome in Fiji
Scott Morrison receives warm welcome in Fiji

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