OVER the past 15 years or so, Australia has worked diligently to establish itself as a "big brother" in the Indo-Pacific region by increasing the scope and scale of its development funding for developing countries. This is generally considered a good thing, as Australia evidently does not have the same sort of questionable motives of either China or the United States, making its financial aid seem like aid for the beneficiaries' sake rather than a tool for economic or geopolitical dominance.

However, when it comes to financing developing countries' climate change mitigation and adaptation needs, the current Australian government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison - leader of the ironically named Liberal Party - apparently does have a motive.

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