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Foreign Minister Penny Wong addresses UN General Assembly on climate action and reforming the United Nations

Australia’s in person delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, 77th session, was lead by Foreign Minister Penny Wong and included Yawuru elder from Broome and Senator Patrick Dodson.

Although the media reporting concentrated on her remarks regarding the need to reform the United Nations, the Ukraine War and geopolitics, a substantial amount of her speech focussed on Australia’s escalating action addressing climate action both for Australia and in the Pacific region.

Here is the excerpt relating to climate change from her speech:

Drought and potential famine in the Horn of Africa. Major floods in Pakistan. Record-breaking heatwaves in Europe and Asia. The alarm bells of climate change growing louder, including in my own country.

Australians are clear that they want urgent and serious action, and they have given their Government a mandate.

Among the first acts of the new Australian Government has been to submit our ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and we have just passed legislation that makes these targets law.

Our climate policies mean that within this decade, 83 per cent of Australia’s energy supply will be renewable.

We want to help the global energy transition. Australia will be a renewable energy superpower.

And while we are playing our part to reduce our own emissions, we are working in our region to support Pacific countries which have the most to lose from the changing climate.

Nothing is more central to the security and economies of the Pacific than climate change. As Pacific leaders themselves put it plainly in the first article of the 2018 Pacific Island Forum’s Boe Declaration on Regional Security:

We reaffirm that climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific and our commitment to progress the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Australians are part of the Pacific family.

Families are about care, love and forgiveness. But they are also about duty and loyalty, looking out for each other, and listening to each other.

The Australian people want to be better, more involved, and more helpful members of the Pacific family.

In my first months as Foreign Minister, I have visited six Pacific Islands Forum countries.

It is a clear sign of our priorities that by the end of this year I will have visited nearly all of them.

Australians want to enhance our defence, maritime and economic cooperation with Pacific Island Countries. And we want to be the Pacific’s partner of choice for development and security.

Full Speech:

References:

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