Thursday, 15 February 2018
That the Senate—
(a) welcomes the visit by a delegation of leaders from the Kiribati Climate Action Network and the Kiribati Ministry of Education;
(b) notes the strong bonds that exists between the people of Australia and the people of Kiribati;
(c) notes, with deep concern, the impacts that climate change is already having on Kiribati, including soil erosion and salinity, which is affecting crops and drinking water;
(d) is further concerned at reports from the 23th United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2017, that the Australian delegation pushed back against poorer countries, including Kiribati, who were calling for more funding for loss and damage caused by climate change; and
(e) calls on the Government to:
(i) increase its support to Pacific Island nations, including Kiribati, through climate finance that is separate and additional to our existing official development assistance budget,
(ii) significantly increase our commitments to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement in 2018, and take into account loss and damage caused by climate change, and
(iii) commit to no new coal mines in Australia, and rule out Adani's Carmichael coal mine.
Australia has a strong and growing relationship with Kiribati. Our development assistance is delivered in line with the Kiribati Development Plan and we work closely together to address the challenges of climate change. Our support to Kiribati is part of the government's commitment to invest $1 billion globally over five years into climate change and disaster risk management for developing countries. At the Pacific Islands Forum in 2016, the Prime Minister committed $300 million over four years to the Pacific to lift our support for research, resilience and response through our climate program. Australia is among more than 170 countries that have ratified the Paris agreement. Our 2030 target to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels is comparable with other advanced economies and will halve our per capita emissions. The government supports investment and job creation in the resources sector.
Labor is a strong supporter of international development assistance, including addressing the impacts of climate change in our Pacific neighbours such as Kiribati. The shadow foreign minister, Senator Penny Wong, has recently announced that Labor is committed to rebuilding the development assistance program after years of cuts under the current government. Labor looks forward to continuing to work closely with the people of Kiribati, and other Pacific island nations with whom we share strong bonds, to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change as well as supporting their development and prosperity more broadly.