Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the government has agreed to a long term approach to assist Pacific Island states in meeting the challenges of climate change.
“We cannot ignore the risks faced by our Pacific Island neighbours who are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” said Mr Peters.
“Cabinet has agreed to a long term strategy to assist the region. Development assistance will focus on practical projects for climate change adaption, mitigation, and ways to avert climate displacement of people.”
“Underpinning the approach are the wishes of Pacific Leaders who have told us that their people want to live in their own countries for as long as possible, and retain social and cultural identity.”
“Supporting pacific peoples’ desire to remain in their own countries translates into prioritising regional and country-level-initiatives that build resilience and adaption to climate change. This includes building better infrastructure and developing disaster preparedness,” said Mr Peters.
As well, New Zealand will champion the progressive development of international law to protect Pacific Island coastal state rights in the face of sea-level rises.
“We believe the Pacific can be a world leader in responding to this challenging global issue, and the approach agreed by Cabinet will put New Zealand at the forefront of supporting that effort,” Mr Peters said.
The related Cabinet papers can be found here: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/countries-and-regions/pacific/