The Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) expresses our concerns regarding Australia’s eagerness to secure early support for its bid to host COP31. Australia, through its Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen MP, will host a dialogue with Pacific Island nations on 23 August 2023, seeking early commitments of support for its COP31 nomination.
While PICAN acknowledges the importance of collaboration in addressing the climate crisis, we believe that Australia’s approach raises some serious concerns. We recognise the urgency of taking action to combat the pressing global issue of climate change, however, Pacific nations must carefully consider the implications of lending their early support to Australia’s bid.
It is our belief that Pacific nations must make their support contingent on Australia’s track record and commitment to climate action on a global scale. While we acknowledge Australia’s aspiration to lead in hosting COP31, Pacific governments must seek tangible evidence of Australia’s dedication to substantial climate action, especially with regard to fossil fuels.
The upcoming G20 Summit in India this September presents a valuable opportunity for Australia to demonstrate its commitment to fossil fuel reduction. It is prudent for Pacific countries to consider awaiting the outcomes of this summit before fully committing their support for COP31.
By leveraging Australia’s eagerness to secure support, Pacific governments can help ensure that COP31, if hosted in Australia, is truly focused on ambitious climate action. We advocate for a thoughtful and strategic approach by Pacific nations to maximise the potential benefits of their support.
PICAN reiterates its commitment to collaborating with all nations, including Australia, to combat the climate crisis effectively. We believe that by adopting a cautious and measured approach, Pacific nations can contribute to a stronger, more ambitious COP31.
PICAN encourages open dialogue and engagement with all stakeholders to ensure a sustainable and resilient future for our Pacific communities.