There is a creeping militarization of the aid agenda in Australia. Aid has long been closely associated with Australian military interventions, from Afghanistan to East Timor, from the Solomon Islands to the Philippines. With the closure of AusAID in 2013, Australian Aid now favours national interest and private finance over the need for real aid. It has become more closely integrated with Australian diplomatic, strategic and military priorities especially as Australia’s Pacific sphere of influence comes under increased challenges.
Copper, according to Goldman Sachs, ‘is the new oil’ deemed most important for decarbonisation. Demand for the metal, used in large quantities in wind, solar, electric vehicles and energy infrastructure, is set to increase by 600% by 2030. Wealthy nations and companies associated with copper related products are by proportion the highest consumers of the metal, and so are generating most of the demand.
New research has found that a community in Port Moresby who were forcibly evicted and their homes demolished without compensation at the behest of a company with significant Australian ties, are still struggling to access basic needs and rights, even years after their eviction.
Australian groups have joined a global network of communities directly impacted by lithium mining, who are warning against drastically expanding mining in the name of ‘Green Energy’.
AID/WATCH has joined with Australian civil society organisations (CSOs) on a statement calling for the Australian Government to support the cancellation of external debt payments in 2020 for Low Income Countries (LICs) to help them fight the coronavirus.
AID/WATCH recently participated in the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples Forum (ACSC/APF) held in Bangkok with the Asia Pacific Gathering on Human Rights and Extractives and the Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN). The following statement from Asia Pacific Gathering on Human Rights and Extractives during the ACSC/APF was endorsed by AID/WATCH.