Remarks at the Climate Change Breakfast Meeting, CHOGM, Rwanda

  • Speech, E&OE

Can I start by acknowledging the Secretary General and the heads of state, particularly the prime ministers who have already spoken today, and my fellow ministers and other excellencies. Thank you for the opportunity to make very brief remarks, because my contribution will be inadequate compared to the experiences we've heard already, but I just want to say that the new Australian Government has heard the call to ratchet up action. And only last week, in the fourth week of the new government, Prime Minister Albanese signed our new nationally determined contribution and that has been lodged with the UN to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 43% on 2005 levels. And that's on the way to a legislated net zero emissions by 2050. 

We recognise that we have a strong role to play in combating climate change and the need to urgently lift ambition. That mitigation action is complemented by domestic actions, particularly achieving 82% renewable energy in our grid by 2030, including a record $20 billion of investment in decarbonising the grid on the way to creating 600,000 new jobs. Importantly, the new Australian Government recognises that we need to play a stronger role internationally. It's not just good enough for us to achieve our climate targets, we must be a strong partner for other nations to take action on mitigation and support adaptation. So, accordingly, we've announced a Pacific Climate Finance Partnership where we'll work with the Pacific family to invest in climate mitigation and adaptation. And I'm so pleased to hear the words from the Prime Minister of Tonga and the Fijian representative before. We'll also increase our overseas development assistance to the Pacific by $525 million which will have a climate focus. And obviously, I'm also very pleased to say today that Australia has recommitted and allocated another $2 million to the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, recognising its important role.

We are also seeking support to host a UN conference of the parties in Australia in partnership with the Pacific family. We think this is an important gesture and I want to pay tribute to Lord Ahmad and the UK Government. I represented the Labor Opposition at the Glasgow COP and the energy, the intent and the commitment to following on from Paris was palpable, so thank you to the UK Government.

Finally, I just want to recommit the Australian Government to being good partners on climate change. We recognise we have a strong role to play there and in partnership with other nations of the Commonwealth and the broader UN community. So thank you for the opportunity to address you and I also recognise that implementation is as important as announcements. And so I look forward to coming back in a few years' time to update people on how we are going achieving our 43% emissions reduction target. Thank you, again.

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