Nov 10, 2021 3:37 PM EDT

Papua New Guinea may ‘rethink’ its climate efforts if rich nations don’t pay aid, official says

GLASGOW, Scotland — Papua New Guinea’s environment minister has said that given the lack of financial aid, his country may “rethink” efforts to cut logging, coal mining and even coming to these meetings.

“If they keep stalling (…) there’s no point in returning to any future COP meetings,” said Minister Wera Mori.

Mori said rich and developed nations like the United States, the UK, China, Japan, and the EU must pay up and that without a meaningful agreement in Glasgow, Papua New Guinea may roll back measures they have taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“We will have to decide as a country to rethink what position we have taken (…) in terms of logging, in terms of extracting coal and other measures,” Mori warned.

The minister said his country has cut back on logging, plans to ban round log exports by 2025, and hasn’t issued new coal mining permits. But if financing is not forthcoming then “we cannot be swimming around in the wilderness.”

“Logging is a $1 billion industry. We’ve got thousands of square kilometers of coal seam which we want to mine, extract and produce cheap power, cheap energy for our industries,” he said. “Why should Papua New Guinea make the sacrifice?”