17 Dec 2009

Australia accused of bullying Pacific states over climate stance

3:07 pm on 17 December 2009

Australia has been accused of bullying small Pacific Island states at the climate change conference in Copenhagen.

Vulnerable Pacific countries have taken a strong stand at Copenhagen, with a push by Tuvalu for a legally-binding agreement leading to a breakdown in negotiations last week.

Now, Pelenise Alofa Pilitati from the non-government organisation, the Pacific Calling Partnership, is accusing Australia of pressuring Tuvalu and Kiribati to moderate their position.

"Canberra, Canberra was calling up home and saying your boys at the COP15, tell them this and this and that, that's our message. So what's the point of having a meeting then when you are going to be sitting there with other countries who look at you and say, you know we'll tell them what to do."

Pelenise Alofa Pilitati says the Copenhagen negotiations have become corrupt, manipulative and compromising.

Kiribati's Foreign Secretary and Climate Change spokesperson, Tessie Lambourne, says Australia and New Zealand have different targets from the small island states and it's part of negotiations for people to try and convince each other of their positions.