Joint media release: Supporting the Pacific family at COP28 to respond to climate change

Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs

The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy

The Hon Pat Conroy MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific

Senator the Hon Jenny McAllister, Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy 

The Albanese Government is responding to Pacific needs by delivering new climate finance directly to the region to deal with the climate crisis and protect people, housing and infrastructure.

Australia will contribute a foundational $100 million to the Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF) and will rejoin and contribute $50 million to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Climate change is the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of climate vulnerable countries and regions, including the peoples of the Pacific.

The PRF is the first Pacific-led, owned and managed community resilience financing facility. It will support locally led, small-scale projects across the Pacific region. This includes grants for climate adaptation, disaster preparedness, nature-based solutions and projects which respond to loss and damage.

The GCF, the world’s largest global climate fund, was set up in 2015 as part of the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change and has approved projects across 128 countries.

The former Morrison Government withdrew Australia from the GCF in 2018.

By rejoining the GCF, Australia can effectively advocate for GCF funding to meet Pacific needs.

This builds on Australia’s contributions to climate and energy infrastructure for the region including $75 million for a program for off-grid and community scale renewable energy in remote and rural parts of the Pacific.

Australia is committed to amplifying the collective Pacific voice on the international stage. We are supporting more than 50 Pacific delegates to attend the UN Climate Conference, COP28, in Dubai. We are working closely with Pacific nations at COP28 to ensure it delivers practical outcomes and maximum impact for the region.

Australia welcomes the decision taken at COP28 to operationalise the Climate Impact Response Fund for supporting particularly vulnerable developing countries respond to climate impacts, including loss and damage.

We look forward to the new fund being set up quickly and delivering for the Pacific.

Quotes attributable to Minister Wong:

“The Pacific Resilience Facility will benefit Pacific communities directly and make access to climate finance for adaptation and loss and damage needs quicker and more accessible.

“We have taken on board Pacific feedback on climate finance – this contribution demonstrates our strong commitment to Pacific climate priorities and we call on other donor countries to follow Australia’s lead and pledge serious funding towards the USD500 million target for the Pacific Resilience Facility.”

Quotes attributable to Minister Bowen:

“Since May 2022, we have been restoring Australia’s climate leadership at home and abroad. 

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with my Pacific colleagues to call for stronger global action to reduce emissions and to ensure decisions on climate finance deliver practical outcomes and maximum impact for the Pacific, and other countries who are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts.

Quotes attributable to Minister Conroy:

“Nowhere is the climate threat more profound than in the Pacific.

“Since coming to office the Albanese Government has been supporting Pacific calls for global action on climate change.

“I commend the significant work over many years by Pacific Island Forum members to design the Pacific Resilience Facility as a game changing and transformative initiative that is owned by, and delivers for, the region.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister McAllister:

“Australia has listened to the Pacific, and we share the vision for a Blue Pacific Continent where the wellbeing of Pacific people is secured.

“Pacific partners are clear they want a future where people are not only resilient to the impact of climate change, but are able to flourish and lead safe, secure, and prosperous lives.

“Our regional contribution is important. While Australia and the world work to mitigate future impacts, these contributions will help the Pacific adapt to the challenges they face.”