Address to high level ministerial dialogue on climate finance

  • Speech, E&OE

I thank the Peruvian government and the people of Peru for their warm hospitality as we meet to discuss the important issue of climate finance.

Australia is deeply engaged in the global response to climate change.

We are doing this through direct national action, international engagement and through our aid program.

We have a strong track record in delivering climate finance and in helping our developing country partners reduce their emissions and build resilience to climate related shocks and impacts, in ways that support economic growth.

Over the previous three years, Australia has provided around $600 million to support developing countries respond to climate change under the U.N.'s Fast Start Finance initiative.

This equated to almost 2 per cent of all Fast Start Finance, even though Australia is responsible for only 1.3 per cent of global emissions.

And we are continuing assistance, including through our $5 billion aid program, which is helping Pacific countries in particular build resilience and adapt to the impact of climate change.

We have a special focus on cooperating with vulnerable countries in the Pacific - our neighbourhood, where we can be most effective.

For example, we are working with Vanuatu to climate-proof infrastructure.

We are safeguarding ground water resources and coastal infrastructure in Kiribati.

With the Government of Tuvalu, we are upgrading fresh water infrastructure for households and primary schools.

I have been tasked by the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to announce today at this meeting that Australia will pledge a contribution of $200 million over four years to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Our pledge to the GCF will facilitate private sector led economic growth in our region the Indo-Pacific, with a particular focus on investment in infrastructure, energy, forestry and emissions reductions.

I welcome the fact that participating countries have delivered on undertakings to capitalise the GCF and, with Australia's contribution, have reached a significant total in excess of $10 billion to date.

This is an impressive achievement in the past six months, following the call of the Board of the GCF – of which Australia is a member – to all countries to pledge. This achievement should be recognised. It is now contingent on all of us to make sure the GCF funds are distributed efficiently, transparently and to maximum effect.

Australia's contribution can also be seen in our broader environmental program.

I announce today that Australia will make a new contribution to the Global Green Growth Institute - $10 million over two years from 2015-2016 – adding to Australia's previous contribution of $15 million.

This follows two new environmental commitments Australia made at the Asia Pacific Rainforest Summit and the World Parks Congress in Sydney last month. We committed to practical steps to reduce rainforest loss in the Asia Pacific, including a $6 million investment to reduce illegal logging.

Australia announced a $6 million Coral Triangle Initiative to promote the health and sustainable use of coral reefs in our region, which in turn support the 120 million people across the Indo Pacific who rely on a rich and diverse marine ecosystem for their livelihoods.

I am also pleased to announce our continued support of the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund through a $13.9 million contribution. This funding will assist developing countries achieve their Montreal Protocol 2020 targets for reducing ozone-depleting substances.

All countries should take practical and proportionate steps to take action on climate change while safeguarding economic growth. Australia will continue to engage constructively with our partners on the journey to Paris and develop a global framework which delivers a global solution to global climate change.

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