Australia announces $338m funding for climate action

Children sitting submerged in the sea around their island home in a symbolic welcome to Pacific Leaders arriving at the Pacific Islands Forum 2019

News Australia responds to PM's plea

Leaders Meeting begins on Monday in the Tuvaluan capital Funafuti, a small atoll 4,000km north-east of Sydney, with Mr Morrison arriving on Wednesday.

It also pushed back against efforts to bring national policies in line with the latest science on 1.5C from the International Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report on 1.5C.

"While getting rid of plastics and ocean plastics is incredibly important, [Tuvalu] is a nation that will disappear unless the world, including Australia, takes action on climate change", Conroy told Guardian Australia.

Photo Mr Morrison's first overseas trip after re-election was to the Pacific.

The Federal Opposition has accused Mr Morrison of putting relations with the region at risk by not budging on climate change.

"Scott Morrison's priority ... must be to ramp up ambition on climate change", said Pat Conroy, Labor's spokesman on worldwide development and the Pacific.

"Without taking effective action in Australia on climate change, our entire Pacific "step up" is undermined."

In a statement, Morrison said the funding "highlights our commitment to not just meeting our emissions reduction obligations at home but supporting our neighbours and friends".

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

It could make for some testy exchanges.

"So, it really does come down to who is prepared to give ground and where".

Mr Sopoaga, Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and other Pacific leaders have become increasingly vocal in the lead-up to this year's PIF leaders' meeting in appealing to Australia to take a stronger stance on climate change.

As a result, Australia's ties with the region have been strained, opening the door to the China. Only recently have Australia and its Western Allies made attempts to counter China's economic aid to Pacific Islanders, a case of closing the barn door after the horses have run out.

"This is the most amount of money Australia has ever spent on climate in the Pacific", he said.

The Australian government has replied to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama's plea saying they are making a transition from coal energy overtime.

Bainimarama has previously said he would not attend until Australia and New Zealand left the Pacific Islands Forum because they have too much influence.

The aid will also fund a hydro electric power project in the Solomon Islands, roads and bridges in Papua New Guinea and climate resilient schools in Kiribati.

In recent years, Australia has faced a serious backlash from its Pacific neighbours for not doing enough to tackle its carbon emissions, continuing to invest in coal production and using Kyoto carry-over credits to meet Paris climate deal targets.

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