One Planet Polar Summit – Ministerial Meeting, 8-10 November

  • Remarks

Thank you, France, for hosting this important One Planet-Polar Summit.

Few nations anywhere in the world can match France's deep commitment to the cause of polar exploration and research, particularly in the Antarctic.

That was true nearly three centuries ago when Jean-Baptiste Bouvet de Lozier, visiting the Southern Ocean, was the first person to describe tabular icebergs.

It was true nearly two centuries ago when Jules Dumont d'Urville set sail for the South Magnetic Pole.

It was true more than a century ago when Jean-Baptiste Charcot became the first French person to winter in Antarctica.

And it is still true today, with France a critical member, with Australia, another country with a proud Antarctic history, of the global effort to fight global warming and protect Earth's critical polar regions.

In 2023, we know that global warming will have a profound and dangerous impact on Earth's polar regions, with significant implications for the rest of the world.

Global warming's impacts in Antarctica will add to the global mean sea level rise – a huge challenge for Pacific nations.

It will deepen the challenge of ocean acidification. And it will bring significant changes to the world's ocean currents impacting food and water security.

It threatens the unique and fragile havens of biodiversity in the southern oceans including through reduced sea ice.

Australia joins with France and others who have increased their 2030 emissions reduction targets to push harder and further for deeper cuts.

We have increased our emission reduction target to 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and enshrined that target as a minimum in law. 
And we are implementing a comprehensive suite of new policies to drive the transition to net zero.

But the urgency of our task is clear.

Together, we need to ensure that international discussions about climate change mitigation and adaptation are informed by Antarctic climate change research, including understanding the global implications of changes in the Antarctic region.

As such, Australia was pleased to join with France and others at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in June – the Helsinki Declaration on Climate Change and Antarctica.

For our part, Australia looks forward to continuing our long partnership with France and other countries on scientific research and the Antarctic continent we are so privileged to work in together.

Thank you.

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