16 Sep 2015

Tuvalu disheartened by Australian climate attitude

2:27 pm on 16 September 2015

The Tuvalu Prime Minister says he has been discouraged by Australia's attitude towards climate change and he is reassessing the relationship between the two countries.

Funafuti's oceanside shoreline, Tuvalu

Funafuti's oceanside shoreline, Tuvalu Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Enele Sopoaga, who also chairs the Small Island States group, says he is disappointed by the failure of last week's Pacific Islands Forum meeting to make a stronger statement on climate change.

Australia and New Zealand did not commit to tougher emission targets called for by the SIS.

Mr Sopoaga says Australia's approach at the Forum and joke by their Immigration Minister about climate change have shone a light on their indifference.

Tuvalu Enele Sopoaga

Tuvalu's Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga Photo: RNZI / Jamie Tahana

"This is very disheartening for Tuvalu. It makes us think about all our talks about partnership and friendship. We are not sure whether we are in the position to be in partnership with any assistance from Australia if that's the attitude."

However Mr Sopoaga is hopeful that the new leadership of Malcolm Turnbull, who became Australian Prime Minister this week, will provide new opportunities for a stronger and a more united stance on climate change.