Greens Leader Christine Milne has welcomed Australia's commitment of $5 million in aid and medical personnel for the island nation of Vanuatu in the wake of Cyclone Pam, but says regional disasters will get worse if more is not done to reduce the pollution that is causing global warming.
"Our thoughts are with the people of Vanuatu and all those impacted by the ferocity of Cyclone Pam. I know that all Australians' hearts go out to all the victims, their families and those who have lost their homes and livelihoods," Senator Milne said.
"I welcome the speedy response of the Australian Government to immediately send aid and on-ground assistance, it is our duty to our smaller island neighbours.
"Aid is essential but not enough. We will be hypocrites if we continue to make their lives worse with more of the coal mines and exports that cause global warming.
"As long as Australia continues to export coal and fails to reduce pollution, we are directly contributing to the more severe extreme weather that threatens to wipe our island neighbours off the map.
"These disasters will continue to get worse. More and more people will die if we fail to reduce the pollution that is causing global warming."