Today’s comments from Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen on leading Australia’s COP27 delegation show Australia risks missing an opportunity to show up for the Pacific and must step up on a major agenda item both the EU and the US have committed to discussing, Greenpeace Australia Pacific says.

Kiribati King Tides Flooding Documentation
Local resident Pita Meanke leans against a palm tree as high waves caused by the ‘King Tides’ surge past the sea wall and into his family’s property, Betio Villge, Tarawa Island, Kiribati, Pacific Ocean. Greenpeace and scientists are concerned that low lying islands face permanent inundation from rising seas due to climate change.

The impending COP27 climate summit is set to focus on the agenda item of “loss and damage” funding for developing nations[1] and the issue is gaining momentum with host country Egypt pushing it to the top of the agenda, the EU passing a resolution calling for the establishment of a Loss and Damage Finance Facility [2], and the US supporting loss and damage talks at COP27 [3].

As Australia confirms its COP27 delegation, Greenpeace Australia Pacific says that Australia must recognise the crucial importance of COP27 for the Pacific, particularly as the Albanese Government seeks to co-host a future COP with the Pacific and strengthen relations with the region.

Katrina Bullock, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said:

“The Albanese government has bet big on repairing Australia’s climate reputation on the global stage and repairing relations with the Pacific, including committing almost $46 million in the recent budget to improve its international standing so it can co-host a future COP climate summit with the Pacific.

“This year’s COP is the first real, global test of these pledges. COP27 is vital for the Pacific, which continues to experience the most acute and devastating impacts of climate change. Dubbed by host country Egypt as an ‘implementation COP’, this year’s summit must see meaningful, accelerated progress on key climate justice issues for the Pacific.

“The Albanese government has ambitions to reestablish Australia as part of the Pacific family, step up on climate change on the world stage, and co-host a future COP with the Pacific. To achieve these goals, it must convert its rhetoric into action and be a true family member to the Pacific by supporting the establishment of a Loss and Damage Finance Facility at COP27.”