If we are to be realistic, $500m doesn’t buy us a thing in the Pacific Islands. No political influence. No loyalty. No defence against China. Apart from the fact that Australia’s emissions add up to 0.0000134% of global CO2, our ability to prevent sea levels rising (which aren’t happening anyway – refer CM report here) is absolutely zero. If Australia offered the islands a fraction of the $9.5bn we spend on renewables annually in return for all the coal-fired power we wanted, these islands would be silly to refuse the deal. Most likely they wouldn’t.
In September 2018, Australia was beaten over the head for not helping the Pacific Islands cope with the dangers of climate change. What better way for PNG to have averted the climate emergency by using part of the $150mn in aid money from Australia to buy 40 gas-guzzling Maserati sports limousines from Italy?
Actions not words. The $500m reminds CM of those investment banks that only partially invested in their franchises. They all failed. If there is no strategy, best not spending a cent. $500m is pointless and that won’t be lost on the Pacific Island governments. If PM Morrison wants to buy influence, he needs to think beyond this measly gratuity.
What have these Island nations said to China? China makes up 45% of global coal power gen capacity. Australia 1.6%. China has another 100+ currently under construction and another 76 yet to break ground. So why haven’t they raised hell in Beijing? Because Australia fold to this ridiculous pandering.