Slack nations demand more Australian money

An official United Nations grouping of 47 of the world’s least developed countries has urged Australia to “honour its international commitments” after the prime minister, Scott Morrison, said the country would not be “throwing money” into a key international climate change fund linked to the Paris climate pact.

The Conservative Party has called on the government to withdraw from the Paris pact and to channel aid funding where it’s needed in Australia.

Australia has previously pledged $200 million to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), set up through the UN’s climate convention to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and cut their own greenhouse gas emissions.

But on Monday, in the hours before a major climate report was released, Morrison told radio presenter Alan Jones that Australia would not be “throwing money into some global climate fund”.

The group representing the 47 countries at UN climate negotiations says its members are “specially vulnerable to climate change but have done the least to cause the problem”. African nations dominate the group, alongside Pacific and East Asian countries Timor-Leste, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Tuvalu.

It says, “Australia and other developed countries are yet to deliver on their collective commitment to mobilise a minimum of US$100 billion annually by 2020 to support developing countries.

Morrison’s dismissive remarks about the GCF contrast with Australia’s previous enthusiastic support for the fund.

Last month, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg indicated Australia had no plans to increase GCF funding.