COP23: Australia to help Pacific countries meet climate goals

Update: 2:30PM AUSTRALIA will, this week during Fiji’s COP23 Presidency, provide additional support to key climate initiatives to help Pacific countries mitigate and adapt to climate change and meet their climate goals.

Australia will provide AUD$6million to support efforts to protect and manage coastal blue carbon ecosystems in the Pacific, in partnership with Fiji and other Pacific countries, regional institutions and private sector organisations.

In a joint statement from Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg, they said mangroves, tidal marshes, and seagrasses ecosystems capture more carbon per square metre than almost any other ecosystem and play an important role as fisheries breeding grounds and natural buffers against coastal erosion from rising seas.

The statement said that Australian support would strengthen blue carbon expertise and data in the Pacific, support its integration into national greenhouse gas accounting and climate policy, and encourage public and private sector investment.

“Through the International Partnership for Blue Carbon, an Australia-led initiative involving more than 20 countries and organisations, we will also facilitate the global sharing of experiences and lessons learned to assist countries in our region and around the world,” Ms Bishop and Mr Frydenberg said.

“Australia will join Fiji, Germany and the United Kingdom in launching the next stage of a global partnership to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement. We will provide an additional $500,000 for the Nationally Determined Contributions Hub so that Pacific Island countries have better access to public and private finance, low carbon investments and debt management.

“Australia has committed to spend AUD$300million on climate change and resilience activities in Pacific Island countries from 2016-2020, including AUD$75m for disaster preparedness.”

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