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Australia ‘must act on climate to gain trust of Pacific leaders’

Climate change is a “massive destabilising force” in the Pacific region and the Australian government must do more to help mitigate its impacts, opposition climate spokesman Pat Conroy has said.

Conroy’s comments coincide with prime minister Scott Morrison’s visit to Tuvalu this week for the annual Pacific Islands Forum. The regional leaders’ meeting has named climate change and marine pollution as major items on its agenda. The forum is also likely to ask Australia to increase its support for higher education and technical training in the region.

Conroy says the forum will be a test for the Morrison government’s climate policies and future relations with Pacific leaders. In an editorial published by the the Lowy Institute, a Sydney foreign policy think tank, he says the social and economic impacts of climate change across the Pacific will “be a humanitarian disaster”.

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