Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia, Mr. Robert Sisilo, has welcomed Australia’s renewed commitment to the region’s climate change priorities and its interest to host a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties in partnership with Pacific Island Countries. The Labour Government, via the Lower House/House of Representatives – with 151 members passed a bill to put its 43 percent emissions reduction target by 2030 into law.
“Finally, we have some good news on climate change. The house in which government is formed has passed a bill to put gas emissions reduction target into law. A law that will set a clear direction on climate change and an assurance that a change of government does not automatically mean a change of policy” an elated Mr. Sisilo told a Canberra diplomatic and academic audience in a panel event on the topic “The Challenges Facing the Pacific: Views from the Region”.
The bill is now before the 76 senators of the Upper House, the Senate – where it is expected to sail through. It will also enact into law Australia’s net zero by 2050 target, task the Climate Change Authority to advice on future goals and the Minister to make an annual progress statement in Parliament.
“With the Senate’s blessing, Canberra will finally have something of substance on Climate Change on which our region can help build and improve on stronger requirements for progress reports against climate targets. We are not there yet but at least we are in a new era of climate and energy certainty” Mr. Sisilo, based in Canberra, said.
When Pacific Leaders met in Nauru in 2018, they reaffirmed that climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of their peoples and committed to progress the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
And at their meeting in Suva last month, Leaders reconfirmed that climate change remains the single greatest existential threat facing the Blue Pacific, underscoring the urgency to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees through rapid, deep and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.