Uniting welcomes Government announcement on climate refugees, but bolder action on the climate crisis still needed

Uniting welcomes Government announcement on climate refugees, but bolder action on the climate crisis still needed

Uniting NSW.ACT has welcomed the Albanese Governments’ announcement on migration policy for Tuvaluans – soon to be climate refugees – as the climate crisis continues to unfold rapidly and with devastating consequences across the Pacific.

Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT Moderator, Rev Faaimata (Mata) Havea Hiliau praised the government announcement but said that climate change was an ongoing problem.

“As a faith leader, and a daughter of the Pacific, I know what’s at stake if we don’t address this climate crisis and its unfolding impacts on Pasifika peoples – people’s homes will literally be swept into the ocean.”

“I’m proud that as a country we’re offering safe haven for our Pasifika brothers and sisters.”

“I can attest to what a precious this gift is, having been an immigrant and arriving in Australia in a small country town as a nine year-old.”

“As we watch new fossil fuel projects continue to be approved here in Australia and around the world, knowing they will exacerbate the climate crisis – it’s easy to understand the frustration and fear being felt by our Pasifika peoples.”

“Pasifika peoples have been let down before – but we are hopeful, we are optimistic that change is coming, albeit far too slowly.”

“Our Pasifika and First Nations community are on the frontlines of this climate crisis.”

“An acknowledgement of that threat, and it’s severity is implicit in the Prime Minister’s announcement,” she said.

Alice Salomon is Uniting Head of Media and Advocacy.

“Last week we proudly lent our voice, along with other leaders and organisations across the region, to support the Port Vila Call for a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific,” she said.

“We also indicated our strong support for the introduction of a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty.”

“It is our moral duty to stop digging up new fossil fuel reserves and to act decisively so we can radically reduce Co2 emissions,” Ms Solomon said.

Rev. Havea Hiliau, will join other faith leaders from the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) this week to lobby Federal Parliamentarians in Canberra for bolder and faster action on climate, including again calling for no new coal and gas in Australia as a matter of the highest priority.

Pictured: Funafuti Atoll and lagoon from the air – Vaiaku


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