A climate plea to Scott Morrison from a churchman of the Pacific’s sinking nations


As Australias Prime Minister arrives in Tuvalu for the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting on Tuesday, I want to remind him that he is setting foot in a country that could soon be under water.

I want to remind Scott Morrison that for the people of Tuvalu – and Kiribati, and the Marshall Islands, and all the other Pacific Island Nations – nothing worries us more than climate change.

Funafuti atoll on Tuvalu ... a nation pleading for its future.

Funafuti atoll on Tuvalu … a nation pleading for its future.Credit:Alamy

Weve watched as our homes are eaten away by rising tides, and as Australia allows its emissions to rise and then uses accounting tricks to create the illusion of meeting its inadequate Paris targets.

As one person of faith to another, I would like to tell Australias Prime Minister: This is not Godly leadership.


For Christians, acting to prevent climate catastrophe is not just about survival. It is about loving your neighbour, and protecting Gods creation. Right now, Australia is doing far more than most to desecrate the precious gift that humanity has been given.

Morrison has made much of his faith and yet brought a lump of coal into Parliament. For Pacific Islanders, this felt like a nail from the Cross on which Jesus was crucified. I point Mr Morrison to the Bible verse of John 3:16, which speaks of Gods deep love for all creation: “For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life.”

Australias recent actions dishonour this love.

Look at the governments plans to open up the Galilee Basin for Adanis Carmichael coal mine. If the emissions from the Galilee Basins coal were a country, it would be the worlds seventh-largest emitter of carbon dioxide – a significant contribution to climate change.

Climate change is harming Australians and Pacific Islanders through worsening heatwaves, droughts, and floods, while threatening endangered species such as the Black Throated Finch and the Great Barrier Reef. Australias continued failure to address climate change hurts its citizens, and its neighbours.

Another verse, Micah 6:8, asks us to “Act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”. As Australia tightens its purse-strings on climate finance, there is no justice for the people bearing the costs of climate change. As it continues to dig up coal, there is no mercy for the Islanders whose homes are being destroyed by worsening weather.

And as Australian politicians crack jokes about our plight and brush off our pleas for climate action, there is definitely no humility on display. No leader who claims Christian morality can allow this conduct on their watch.

Biblical and scientific wisdom alike call on Australia to get serious on climate change. Churches from across the Pacific have long asked industrialised nations to stop burning fossil fuels and to do more to help the Pacific adapt to climate change.

Things have reached the point where we have turned to pastoral care for our members who are displaced by cRead More – Source