Address to United Nations Major Economies Forum Foreign Minister Segment

  • Speech, check against delivery

John (Kerry) and colleagues, the Paris Agreement was a triumph of multinational negotiations.

As we now implement the Paris Agreement I am encouraged that the positive, collective spirit of Paris remains. This is exemplified by the likelihood of the Paris Agreement will enter into force within a year of its negotiation.

We must now translate the historic Paris Agreement into action at home. Australia exceeded its first Kyoto commitment and we will meet and beat our 2020 commitment. Our 2030 target will mean a 52 per cent reduction per capita in emissions, and that also equates two a two-thirds per unit of GDP reduction.

Despite these achievements and goals, Australia will still review our climate change polices next year in support of our commitments.

We are also acting on other major initiatives. I am pleased to announce that Australia will contribute to a fund assisting developing countries to reduce their HFC reductions under the Montreal Protocol that John spoke about. We are also implementing Australia's world-leading 2050 Strategy to protect and build the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef, which, like all coral reefs, is sensitive to climate change. And we're very conscious of that. So while climate change is a major challenge, the response brings opportunities.

Our agreement to transition to a lower emissions global economy presents major potential – already the global low emissions economy is estimated at $6 trillion and growing at 4-5 per cent a year.

I am encouraging businesses in Australia to seize these opportunities. And they are. Support for developing countries to address the threats of climate change is obviously critical to our collective success.

I have increased the focus on climate change within Australia's aid and development assistance program. Our $1 billion climate finance commitment will help implement the priorities of developing countries, particularly as defined by their Nationally Determined Contributions, and that is the genius of the Paris Agreement.

Our Prime Minister recently announced a $300 million package of new support to respond to climate change and improve resilience in the Pacific.

As co-chair of the Green Climate Fund Australia is working to maximise the effectiveness and impact of funding, to leverage the private sector, which is so important, and to improve countries' access to funds, and I think this must be a key component of the Green Climate Fund.

With the UK, we are working with other donors on a Roadmap to meet developed countries' commitment to mobilise $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020.

Climate change does have implications for security. Our 2016 Defence White Paper explicitly identifies climate change as a driver in the development of our future security environment.
That is why Australia spoke at the UN Security Council last year to encourage all countries to examine how the international architecture can most effectively respond to the security challenge. We have contributed to the Nansen Initiative to develop a more globally coherent approach to the protection of people displaced by natural disasters, which I must say disproportionately impacts upon women and children.

Our success in addressing climate change will rest on our achievements for success begets success. We must meet our commitments. It's as simple as that. We must all meet our commitments. I endorse the COP22 theme of implementation and action. I hope to see you all there to ensure all countries continue to play their part.

Media enquiries