Australia counting COP27 chickens before they hatch
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, 11 November 2022 - The Australian government cannot afford to spend a second successive week at the COP27 climate summit counting chickens before they hatch if it is to strengthen relationships with the Pacific and earn the right to co-host COP31 with Pacific nations, Greenpeace Australia Pacific said.
Prior to COP27 kicking off in Sharm El-Sheikh, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen promised Australia would be an “active” and “willing” participant, and use the summit as an opportunity to “work closely with our Pacific family” and “help elevate the case of the Pacific for more climate action”.
Despite firm calls from the Pacific for a dedicated loss and damage finance facility to be established at COP27, the Australian government has thus far only supported the issue as an agenda item for discussion.
Shiva Gounden, Pacific advisor at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said simply being better than the last government is far from enough for the Australian government to claim success at COP27.
“The Australian government has been talking up its relations with the Pacific and standing at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, but without support for a dedicated loss and damage finance facility, Australia is counting its chickens before they hatch.
“Loss and damage is an idea born in the Pacific and something Pacific Island nations have been calling for for over 30 years. Australia’s initial support of another year of loss and damage talks at COP27 is not a success, but merely a first step.
“Australia has an opportunity to truly step up for the Pacific by supporting the establishment of a loss and damage finance facility and it must do so at this COP in order to earn COP31.
“The time for talk is over. The Pacific has been calling for dedicated loss and damage funding for thirty years so Australia must hear and answer these calls. COP31 matters, but COP27 matters more.”
Ulaiasi Tuikoro, climate activist from Fiji, said the Pacific is seeing ever increasing loss and damage, and action on dedicated funding is an imperative at COP27.
“Loss and damage in my world isn’t about talks and debates once a year. It is not an abstract concept. It is real and it is lived every single day.
“Our lives, our livelihoods, our lands, and our cultures are being damaged and lost to climate change.
“Countries like Australia believe endless talking and painful negotiations is the answer, but it does nothing to address our plight. We have waited thirty years for an answer. The time for action is now.
“We want Australia to be part of our Pacific family in a meaningful way. We want to proudly host COP31 with the country. But to do so, we need the commitment and support of our neighbours on what we have been calling for for thirty years. We need Australia to support a loss and damage finance facility at COP27.”
For more information, contact Maddison Bates-Willis on 0401 244 296 or [email protected]