Climate change push for Pacific

posted: 9:00 pm - 14th November 2017
Minister Shaw Minister Sio

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio joins Climate Change Minister James Shaw at a conference in Bonn, Germany to be part of discussions regarding Pacific nations’ vulnerability to climate change, as well as New Zealand taking a stance on reducing emissions.

Both Ministers are pushing New Zealand’s support at the Bonn climate change meeting, to focus the global spotlight on the concerns of vulnerable Pacific nations.

“Aupito and I are listening closely to Pacific Island leaders’ concerns and priorities,” says Mr Shaw.

“This is the first time a small island developing state has presided over the COP. This is important because these countries are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts such as threats to food and water supplies, and energy security.”

Aupito says the talks are to advance collaborative world efforts on climate change, with a strong focus on vulnerable Pacific islands. “We hope to make significant progress on the challenges that our Pacific Islands face.”

Part of the Minsters’ dual quest is that New Zealand accepts Pacific migrants from the affected Islands in the event climate change forces them to flee their homes.

Fiji is leading the COP23 discussions, making the world aware of the threat of rising sea levels, which affects the low-lying islands of Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Fiji, Vanuatu and Tokelau.

On their way to Germany, both Ministers met with His Holiness Pope Francis in Rome.

Both agreed the meeting with Pope Frances was a highly significant occasion leading up to the Bonn discussions, as it added more support to the message that the whole world needs to act and support the Pacific Islands that are affected by climate change.

New Zealand and Pacific countries are working collaboratively in pushing for a strong global response to climate change.

Both Ministers agree that COP23 is a platform for Pacific Island nations to be heard, with Fiji leading the meeting.

The 23rd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), or COP23, takes place from 6-17 November in Bonn, Germany.