Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has told Scott Morrison to do better on Australia’s transition to clean energy and declared climate change “no laughing matter” in the country, a likely pointed reference to Petter Dutton’s 2015 publicly recorded “joke” about the effects of climate change on Pacific islands.
According to the ABC, Bainimarama spoke of how Fiji is already dealing with forced relocations and spoiled crops as ongoing consequences of increased sea levels. Bainimarama also noted Australia’s record-breaking heatwave, and told Morrison to put the lives of Pacific islanders above the interests of “any single industry”. Morrison in turn praised Bainimarama’s international leadership on climate change. While stopping short of an emissions policy, Morrison had promised earlier in the week to fund climate change mitigation policies across the Pacific.