Climate change the most dangerous challenge facing planet, Aussie Prime Minister reminded

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been reminded that climate change is the “single most dangerous challenge facing planet Earth” right now.

The reminder came from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, one of the most senior leaders of the Pacific who is a known advocate for action against climate change. 

Tuilaepa is in Dublin while attending the World Rugby Council. 

In an interview with the Guardian, he said climate change is especially affecting Australia.

“Climate change is the, especially Australia with its many forest fires, its droughts, its flooding in northern Australia and of course the need to preserve marine life in coral reefs,” Tuilaepa said.

He also congratulated Mr. Morrison on the election result, and said he is an “an excellent leader for Australia and the Pacific.”

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Commenting on Tony Abbott losing the Warringah seat to Zali Steggall, Tuilaepa said the loss is a lesson to leaders on what their constituencies want.

“[Tuilaepa] agreed that Tony Abbott’s defeat in his seat of Warringah, attributed in part to his views on climate change, which he once described as “crap”, was a warning that voters would not tolerate climate science-denying views among leaders, as they see the impacts of the climate breakdown around the world,” the Guardian’s Kate Lyon reports.

The Prime Minister was in Suva last week with the Pacific Island Forum leadership, which met with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres. During the trip, Mr Guterres was asked about climate change’s place in the Australian election campaign.

While he dodged the question, answering that he has learned not to interfere with foreign elections, the ABC reported that Tuilaepa said not to worry and that voters will answer the question of climate change.

“I think we should not worry too much about it… The question will be answered by the [Australian] voters. Let us keep our fingers crossed!”

But in Dublin he said any reports which suggested that meant he hoped for a change in government were misquoting him.

“What I said was, the voters in Australia will decide on the government they would prefer, so there was therefore no need to speculate which government will win, that’s the voters’ prerogative,” he said. 

“I did end with a reference to ‘keep your fingers crossed’. That was my fatherly advice to those who think too much ahead, to trust the wisdom of your Australian voters.”

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