Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has warned of harsh consequences in the Pacific region if the world continues along the track of climate inaction.
Albanese met with Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General Henry Puna in Canberra on Wednesday to discuss priorities set out in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent which highlights the challenges in the Pacific region.
“Climate action is an absolute priority for the world, but has very specific and harsh consequences for our region and for the Pacific family,” Albanese said.
The pair also spoke about issues around economic opportunities and security threats in the region.
“We think of ourselves in the Forum as family. And Australia is a leading member of that family,” Puna said.
“A member that we look to for guidance, for support, and for advice. It’s nice to know that when we have issues, that we can sit together and talk.”
Puna was impressed with Australia’s bid to recognise Indigenous people ahead of the referendum to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island voice to parliament.
“Can I also congratulate Australia for recognising the importance of the First Nations people,” he said.
“I note in all your acknowledgements of major events or any gathering, the first acknowledgement is always to the traditional custodians of the e lands – that’s wonderful.”
The secretary-general also met with Foreign Minister Penny Wong and International Development and the Pacific Minister Pat Conroy.