Australia has announced that it will support the Pacific in its quest to have a legally binding agreement at the United Nations Climate Change (COP21) talks in France later this month.
Minister for International Development and the Pacific Steven Ciobo, made the revelation while launching the Tide Gauge system in Niue Wednesday.
The announcement is good news for the region as pleas from Pacific Islands to Australia in the past to reduce its greenhouse emissions fell on deaf ears.
Ciobo says climate change is a priority issues for the Pacific and that is why Australia is supporting the region at the climate change talks in Paris.
“Australia recognises climate change is a priority issue for the Pacific Islands. The region includes many of most vulnerable communities in the world and that is why we are committed to working with Pacific Island Countries to deliver a strong global and effective climate change agreement in Paris later this month.
“That includes off course Australia’s commitment which incorporates per capita reduction that are among the highest in the world that we put forward.
“It is also important that countries adapt and build their resilience. In addition to our green climate fund contribution, Australia is contributing some $16 million (US$11.4 million) this financial year in support of Pacific Climate Resilience,” Ciobo told Pacific Community delegates in Alofi.
Marshall Islands representative, Tregar Albons Ishoda told the conference, his island nation will push for sectorial emission cuts in shipping and international aviation in the upcoming COP21 in Paris.
“We all understand that we’ve been given clear mandates from our leaders in the many declarations in key elements of a climate deal in Paris which off course should be addressing 1.5 degrees, finance, loss and damage to be separate, a legally binding agreement and a five-year cycle review.
"I’m proud to say that Marshall Islands was one of the first small island countries in the world to present its INDCs not because we wanted to but because we needed to prove to the rest of the world especially the largest emitters if we can do it you have no excuse not to.
“The Marshall Islands is continuing to push for other sectorial emission cuts which includes international shipping and hopefully international aviation. And that’s going to be one of our biggest push in Paris this upcoming COP21 because Marshall Islands is host to the third largest shipping registry in the world, said Ishoda