In Ngay Mina Koey Ubilnga ya muliz Australia Pa.
That means “I have the privilege of speaking to you on behalf of Australia”, spoken in one of the languages of the people of the Torres Strait, the islands that run through the North East of our Nation.
The people of the Torres have inhabited their lands for 70,000 years.
For them, for the Pacific family, for our farmers paying the price of climate change, for the Australians facing ever increasing risk of flood and bushfire. For everyone around the world facing natural disasters that are increasingly unnatural, Australia is acting.
And for them, the world must act.
Australia is back as a constructive, positive, and willing climate collaborator.
One of the first acts of our incoming Government was to increase our emissions reduction target to 43% by 2030 in our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), and to make that increased ambition the law of the land.
Within this decade, 82 per cent of Australia’s energy supply will be renewable.
The future of energy is renewable – not just for Australia, but for the world.
And it is urgent that we accelerate the renewables transformation this decade.
Such a transformation is both a challenge and an opportunity, but mostly, it’s fundamentally necessary if we hope to have any success in mitigating climate change.
That is why it’s so important that we send the message from this COP loud and clear:
- we remain committed to last year’s determination to hold the world as close as possible to 1.5 degrees of warming
- that we must embrace a faster and more orderly transition to renewable energy as part of these efforts.
The costs of letting these priorities fall to the wayside are too great.
Climate change is a primary economic and security challenge for our region – and an existential threat to the Blue Pacific continent.
That is why we are boosting assistance to the region with an additional $900 million to support the Pacific family’s development and resilience in dealing with the climate emergency.
And why, along with Pacific nations, we are seeking to host COP31 in 2026. Pacific voices have led this debate for decades.
Unfortunately, we know the story our region will tell if the world fails to act – from island communities fighting for their existence, to towns and cities battling ever more frequent bushfires and floods. Our co-hosting will seek to accelerate global action and harness the economic opportunities from the clean energy transition.
But while Australia has increased our ambition and renewed our commitment, we know there’s more to be done.
Just as this COP is focussing on implementation, the Australian Government is focussing on real emissions reductions too – through our $20 billion transmission fund, electric vehicle tax cuts, and through policy certainty for resources and heavy industry sectors on their pathway to net zero.
Because while we talk about the risks of climate change – we also need to think about the immense economic opportunities which come with action. Australia wants to be a renewable energy superpower.
In the coming weeks I will be delivering Australia’s first Annual Climate Change Statement – a comprehensive and transparent stocktake of how are tracking against our NDCs, and how we will make further progress.
Because the urgency with which we must act requires frank conversations about where we are now, where we are going, and how we are going to get there.
Collectively, we now have 85 months to achieve our 2030 targets.
We all know this is this critical decade.
This means national action. But it also means multilateral action.
And action by every single one of our multilateral institutions.
Our international financial architecture was built for a different time.
But some of our international financial institutions are stepping up to this, our most important global task.
Others are not.
Just as we commit to this agenda as individual nations, our multilateral development banks – including the World Bank – must be wholeheartedly committed to this, from their purpose to their actions.
We have a moral imperative and driving need for our institutions to work with countries across the developed and developing world. Not only to reduce emissions but respond to a changing climate and its economic impact on nation.
This will mean increasing the proportion of funding spent on climate, but also ensuring that such funding doesn’t saddle developing countries with unsustainable debt.
This fight cannot be done by one nation – all emitters past, present and future have a responsibility to act.
We need to drive an inclusive climate agenda.
I reaffirm Australia’s commitment to ambitious and necessary change and pledge to be a strong and constructive partner in leading the way.