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Working paper

Shifts in global power and growing geostrategic competition in the Pacific Ocean have left Australia scurrying to shore-up its position as a trusted partner of Pacific Island nations and maintain its place as an influential player in the region. At the same time, Pacific ‘large ocean states’ have emerged as powerful actors on the world stage, working determinedly to shape the global response to climate change, protect the health of the world’s oceans, and shape their own futures. If Australia is to remain a valued member of the Pacific family it must first and foremost be responsive to the priorities and leadership of Pacific Island countries and communities. Nonetheless, Australia is failing categorically to address its part in fuelling the number one threat to the wellbeing, human rights and prospects of Pacific peoples – climate change. Stronger action to curb Australia’s climate pollution – both its domestic emissions and burgeoning coal exports – must be at the heart of any meaningful efforts to rebuild Australia’s standing in the region.

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SGDIA Working Paper No.6