Friday, December 18, 2009

Climate change: Bribery

One of the heroes of the Copenhagen conference has been Tuvalu, which has stood up for the global climate and called for tougher emissions targets, much to the embarrassment of rich polluting nations. And surprise, surprise, the Australian government has tried to bribe them to shut up. According to Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia:

There are some countries like Australia who have been trying to arrange a meeting with us to probably water down our position on 1.5 degrees celsius. We did not attend that meeting, but I heard from other small islands that Australia was trying to tell them if they agree to the 2 degrees limit, money would be on the table for adaptation process. That’s there choice to accept the money and back down. But Tuvalu will not. As I said in my speech, 1.5 degrees celsius is our bottom line…
The problem for Australia is that for Tuvalu, this isn't a matter of money - its a matter of survival. Their future is at stake, and their country will cease to exist if climate pollution is allowed to continue. If someone offered you money to be quiet while they murdered you, you'd look at them as if they were crazy. But that's exactly the situation Tuvalu is in. We are killing them. And we shouldn't expect them to meekly shut up about it.