Pledge to collaborate on climate change

WELLINGTON – Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland has met Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on her first official visit to New Zealand.

They spoke on a number of issues affecting the Commonwealth during their meeting at the executive wing of the Beehive, the parliament buildings, in Wellington on Tuesday.

“New Zealand has been a staunch advocate of supporting small states in mitigating the impact of climate change,” the secretary-general said.

“It was good to hear that the PM’s support remains undiminished. We both acknowledged there was an existential and global threat and pledged to collaborate to help the Commonwealth family to mitigate and build resilience against climate change.

“That will mean building back better when member states are affected by devastating hurricanes, as we saw in the Caribbean last year, mud slides in Sierra Leone, floods in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and the devastation of Cyclone Gita in Tonga, Fiji and Samoa.”

The PM highlighted the plight of small states, especially in the Pacific, which were facing huge challenges caused by climate change.