Kiribati President’s Reluctance on Climate Change Resettlement Deal with Australia


President Maamau of Kiribati downplays possibility of similar agreement with Australia as the one struck with Tuvalu. Kiribati has been drifting closer to China in recent years.

Australia’s Agreement with Tuvalu

Australia recently signed a pact, the Falepili Union, with Tuvalu allowing resettlement for Tuvaluans affected by climate change.

President Maamau’s Response

President Maamau expressed non-committal attitude towards a similar pact with Australia, citing Kiribati’s own strategies and initiatives.

Australia’s Efforts with Kiribati

Australia’s strained ties with Kiribati have led to a shift in Kiribati’s diplomatic relations, drawing closer to China. However, efforts led by Foreign Minister Penny Wong have aimed to mend the relationship.

Response from Other Pacific Nations

The joint announcement by Australia and Tuvalu has received positive responses from other Pacific nations, with some expressing support for the pact.

Resettlement and Security Elements in the Agreement

The agreement entails resettlement for displaced Tuvaluans and promises to help with natural disasters and military aggression in exchange for Tuvalu seeking Australia’s consent before entering new security agreements.

Reactions to the Agreement

The UN Special Envoy on Climate Mobility supports the agreement but emphasizes the importance of reducing carbon emissions.