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Tony Abbott rejects Commonwealth climate change risk fund

Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott. Photo: AFP

Colombo, Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has rejected a proposal from the 53-nation Commonwealth to establish a new fund to help poor and island countries to combat climate change.

As an extraordinary Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting concluded in Colombo, Mr Abbott joined with Canada in rejecting a decision by the summit to push for a Green Capital Fund to help vulnerable island states and poor African countries address the effects of rising sea levels, prolonged droughts, or catastrophic weather incidents, caused by climate change.

The proposal is for Commonwealth countries to work within the UN climate change network to build the fund for small and poor countries to access.

But the final agreement from the 53 members of the Anglosphere Commonwealth noted that “Australia and Canada… indicated they could not support a Green Capital Fund at this time”.

One of the key themes of the summit was the plight of low-lying, and poor states who are especially vulnerable to climate change, but don't have the money for adaptation.

Malta will host the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, offering to stage the event after Mauritius withdrew in protest over Sri Lanka hosting this year's forum.

Prime Minister of Mauritius Navin Ramgoolam did not attend the Colombo meeting in protest at Sri Lanka's human rights record, and said his country would not be prepared to present the next one.

The issue of human rights violations dominated the final day of CHOGM 2013. Under questioning from foreign journalists, and in response to spirited defences from local reporters, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse asked the international community to give his country time to reconcile after 30 years of civil war.

“This is not something you can do overnight. You must also respect our own views without trying to push us into a corner, so please be fair.”

Four years since the war's end, relations between Sri Lanka's Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim communities remain strained. But Mr Rajapakse said he felt responsible for the welfare of all citizens of the island nation.

“They are all my people, my citizens, I will look after them, it is my responsibility… I will do it.”

with AAP

141 comments

  • a) they are poor and therefore powerless and of no interest to Tony
    b) they are probably the wrong colour for him too
    c) why would they need risk management for something that "there is no scientific consensus" on (only 97% of climate scientists agree that carbon emissions are polluting our planet and responsible for the increased rate of climate change)
    d) looks a bit like "foreign aid" and we don't do that- they need to toughen up

    Commenter
    genieass
    Date and time
    November 18, 2013, 6:59AM
    • Obviously it is their own fault for choosing to live there isn't it Tony ...
      Maybe we could lock in a 10year free trade coal arrangement with them ... in exchange for a life raft ....?
      This government is shameful to say the least ... they are unAsutralian, as much as I hate that term.
      Of course the Right Wing shockies will love this one ....

      Commenter
      Yuppy
      Location
      Yuppy Ville
      Date and time
      November 18, 2013, 7:53AM
    • Another compassionless move by Abbott. What a surprise from "Christian" Abbott. Not.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      November 18, 2013, 7:58AM
    • Why should Australia throw good money after bad for something that exists in the minds of only 0.00217 percent of the population of Australia?? It is reported that 50,000 people attended the climate change rally on Sunday, there are 23,000,000 people in Australia. 50,000/23,000,000 equates to 0.00217 percent.

      Commenter
      Muphin
      Location
      Tewantin
      Date and time
      November 18, 2013, 8:26AM
    • It is right to not yet act on the weather changes named as an alleged climate change. There is no exacting evidence to satisfy it's cause or rectification, we have many illiterate people with false assumptions wanting to waste taxpayer funds of huge proportions, BUT ON STOPPING WHAT? is it car fumes, some manufacturers fumes, etc etc, or is it a natural generational change of nature, after all, centuries ago our land has been droughted and also under water. We have not been inhabited long enough to have a recorded past. Likewise we should also be watchful and investigative to TRY discover if it is something we as people or industries are doing. It is a fool to fund guesses only to find it was not the real causation. The biggest green risk to the entire world is that we have first time ever exceeded population capacity and many countries due to join 3rd world status. The country whom picked up the most had reduced population growth, that being Russia. It is rubbish to say our economy needs more populace in times of declining jobs and industry etc, in fact with our largest ever population we are breeding more than ever, and there were no years of declined births that people are pretending has occurred in regards to ageing population. We must stop the hysteria and know-it-alls and seek the real causation's by facts or else waste huge funds, and if its a human cause then lets get it right.

      Commenter
      brian -CHISHOLM
      Date and time
      November 18, 2013, 8:34AM
    • Your "97%" claim has been shown to be flawed so many times that I wonder how informed your really are. Obviously you are not informed if you think that scientific matters are decided by the level of support for an idea even when it has been shown that empirical data does not agree with that idea, Your other statements are wild accusations without a shred of evidence. That's fitting I guess when there's also no credible scientific evidence for significant manmade warming.

      Commenter
      JohnD
      Date and time
      November 18, 2013, 9:17AM
    • @Muphin

      Fascinating argument.

      For instance, a new pub offers free beer to celebrate their opening night, and 500 people turn up, that's only 0.0000217% of all Australians, therefore, by this kind of logic, the rest of Australia hasn't got the slightest interested in beer, right?

      Commenter
      Ozzoid
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      November 18, 2013, 10:09AM
    • @ Muphin

      You forgot to multiply by 100 at the end. 50,000 / 23,000,000 x 100 = 0.21739%

      Commenter
      RA22
      Date and time
      November 18, 2013, 10:29AM
    • Considering that Europe spends 1Billion Euros per day on climate change initiatives & that only 3cents out of every Euro are ever spent on carbon mitigation - I think Abbott is very wise not to sign up to this charade.

      Labor wasted enough of our money trying to change the planet but achieved nothing more than destroying Australian jobs. The money that the world is wasting in filling the pockets of climate change charlatans should be money that is spent on scientists who can be finding real solutions to cheap clean energy production. Until this happens all else is just feel good futile effort and a money pit.

      Commenter
      susan
      Date and time
      November 18, 2013, 10:35AM
    • Muphin - I note you have several posts here, Good on you for your interest. BUT.... A rally with 50,000 is a big rally. If you believe the stats you are quoting mean only 0.00217% of Australians believe in climate change, well you are the one sprouting hocus pocus and fairy tales! There are lots of conservatives that believe in climate change. Even Tony does not reject climate change - at least one of his many faces does not reject it.

      Commenter
      Deafening
      Date and time
      November 18, 2013, 11:03AM

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