One Planet Polar Summit – High-level segment, 8-10 November 2023

  • Remarks

Thank you, President Macron, for the invitation to participate in the Polar Summit.

Australia, like France, has a proud history in Antarctica and has long been one of the world's leading Antarctic nations.

Australia and France's enduring collaborative Antarctic relationship dates back to the early 20th century.

Australia and France are key partners in the protection of the Antarctic environment, dating from the leading role of our two former Prime Ministers, Bob Hawke and Michel Rocard, who championed the development of the 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.

This landmark agreement designates Antarctica as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science and indefinitely bans mining in Antarctica.

This was an incredible achievement, the ambition of which we must continue to echo now as we respond to the challenges of climate change.

The July 2022 Joint Statement between President Macron and Prime Minister Albanese follows in their footsteps. 

This Statement makes clear that Antarctic and the Southern Ocean collaboration is a priority, which is why we have been pleased to participate in this critical global Polar Summit this week.

It is also reflected in our recent collaboration on the million-year ice core project, which seeks to uncover a million years of climate history - to better inform our climate future.

Australia recognises the significant threat posed by climate change in the Antarctic, and will continue to work together in collaboration with others to protect these environments and improve our understanding of how the climate is changing.

Our increased global collaboration is also critical for preparing the world to respond, including working together towards a common goal of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach, and helping the most vulnerable adapt to the consequences of climate change.

Thank you.

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