Fiji urges Jacinda Ardern to stand up for climate change

Fiji has urged New Zealand to stand up for climate change action during Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's first official visit to the island nation.

But the Prime Minister is refusing to bring up the topic when she meets with her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison later this week.  

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama used Ardern's arrival to issue an appeal for help.

"I know I can count on Ardern to not only do the right thing but demand the right thing from the rest of the world."

The issue of climate change is existential in Fiji where it's causing rising seas and more intense storms. The country is planting trees and has a zero carbon budget, but what it really needs is action from world leaders.

When Newshub asked Ardern if New Zealand deserves praise for tackling climate change when transport emissions are rising, she admitted there are "things that we need to turn around".

Cars and trucks make up a fifth of New Zealand's emissions and are the fastest growing source of emissions. 

But New Zealand First is claiming to be holding up the proposed fee-bate scheme that would incentivise the purchase of low-emissions vehicles.

"I want us to continue to take action on climate change and I'm very proud of the record we have already and we will keep going," Ardern said in Fiji. 

The Prime Minister has the opportunity to demand climate action when she meets with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison later this week - but said ahead of her trip that she will not raise it with him. 

She says she addresses climate change on behalf of Pacific nations "every single day".

"The suggestion that Prime Minister Scott Morrison doesn't know my view or New Zealand's view on climate change is just wrong."

There's plenty of praise for setting targets, but there's an appeal from Fiji to back that up with action.