PACIFIC ISLAND LEADERS are set to declare a Climate Emergency after Foreign Ministers have agreed that climate change is the single greatest threat facing the region.
Foreign Ministers’ have outlined in an official outcomes document that:
- Pacific Islands Forum leaders should declare a Climate Emergency after they meet this coming Thursday for the Forum Leaders Meeting.
- Pacific Foreign Ministers welcomed Australia’s renewed commitment to the Pacific’s climate priorities.
- They also welcomed Australia’s plan to co-host a UN climate summit with Pacific island countries.
Dr Wesley Morgan, Climate Council Senior Researcher and climate diplomacy expert who is in Fiji for the Pacific Islands forum this week said:
“This is an important and welcome step to resetting Australia’s relations with the Pacific.
“It will be crucial for the new Australian Government to back up this Climate Emergency declaration with meaningful action. That means, ending Australia’s love affair with coal and gas as quickly as possible, and committing to ending public funding for fossil fuel projects.
“The Pacific Islands Forum is a crucial moment for the Albanese Government to reset relations with strategically important Pacific nations, and prove itself as a climate leader, as outlined in the Climate Council’s new report, A Fight for Survival: Tackling the climate crisis is key to security in the Blue Pacific.
“Climate change is an existential threat to the Pacific and despite stronger emissions targets from the new Australian Government, the latest science and assessment of global targets shows a catastrophic shortfall on the scale of action required.
“To rebuild trust in the Pacific and potentially co-host a UN climate summit with island nations Australia’s new 2030 emissions reduction targets must be a floor, not a ceiling.”
Based on its high emissions, economic strength, and vast untapped opportunities for renewable energy, Australia should aim to reduce its emissions to 75% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Read the Climate Council’s new report: A Fight for Survival: Tackling the Climate Crisis is Key to Security in the Blue Pacific.
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The 51st Pacific Islands Forum is taking place in Suva, Fiji from July 11 to July 14, and is the most important annual political meeting for the Pacific region.
- This PIF will be the first in-person meeting since 2019 and will be dominated by discussions about climate change and security (given the deal between China and Solomon Islands signed earlier this year).
- Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will attend.
- The current chair of the PIF is Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
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