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Arrogance adds insult to injury for our neighbours

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As we obviously can't compete with China's spending to influence the Pacific nations, surely the best move for Australia would be to strive to retain old emotional loyalties and ties (''China's pitch on climate angers US, Australia'', August 17-18).

Instead, PM Scott Morrison has chosen to throw them away by forcing a watered-down statement at the Pacific forum, disappointing and humiliating the leaders of these small nations, all because of his dogged backing of a dying and indefensible coal industry. - Maggie Ramsay, Woolloomooloo

The PM and Australia need to act decisively and appropriately to become real leaders in alleviating the climate crisis, for his and our children’s sake, for the country’s sake and for the world’s sake. It is time to stop playing political games with the climate. - Dave Gray, Hurlstone Park

Good government like good governance requires vision, planning, small steps well executed and above all real commitment to the end goal.

It has been several decades since we have seen such from our elected federal governments. As an example, surely it is evident we need a plan to phase out coal and focus on renewables for our energy requirements.

Parading in front of Pacific Island leaders handing out our Pacific pesos will never match China’s long-term goal of world domination. - Warren Thomas, Merimbula

The vast majority of Australians do not support the Prime Minister's position on coal mining and emissions (Letters, August 17-18).

For him to claim he is "accountable to the Australian people" is hypocrisy and spin, presumably to salve his conscience. The PM has insulted our Pacific neighbours and misrepresented most Australians. - Brewis Atkinson, Tyabb (Vic)

As if the PM’s reported condescension and bullying were not destructive enough, the Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack tossed in his ''they pick fruit'' remark that established a level of old colonial arrogance I thought was long gone (''Call for Australia's Pacific membership to be suspended over coal'', Sun-Herald, August 18).

Australians will suffer the consequences of the intransigence of our politicians on the question of climate change. They are not acting in our best interests when they disparage political leaders whose responsibilities include saving the existence of the people they represent. - Carolyn van Langenberg, Blackheath

The PM talks about the Pacific family around the table, tin-eared to what the family is telling him. Every family has one, don’t they? - Louise Whelan, Chatswood

Aren't family members meant to care about one another and help fellow members in need? - Ruth Holmes, Crows Nest

The sophistry that “Australia alone cannot cool the planet” is beyond insulting. We either do our fair share or we are just giving other countries an excuse to also do little or nothing, condemning us all.

Morrison cannot guarantee that Australia’s emissions won’t be the ones that push the world over the climate abyss. We know with absolute certainty that every tonne of coal we burn is only making the problem worse. We should act now. - Brendan Jones, Annandale

The PM is willing to condemn Pacific islanders to a watery fate by protecting Australia's coal interests. Will he be offering homes on dry land in Australia to the residents displaced as their islands flood? -........

© The Sydney Morning Herald