The comments made by Alok Sharma, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on 11 December 2020.
Thank you very much and good afternoon everyone. And thank you particularly to His Excellency the Honourable Kausea Natano; Dame Meg Taylor; and the Pacific Island Forum Leaders, for inviting me to speak.
The message coming from regions like the Pacific on climate change has a moral urgency and the world cannot ignore it.
I hear what you say. That climate change is the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of your people. And I am committed to working with you, throughout my COP Presidency. To make sure that your voices are heard. To address the issues that matter most to you. And to find practical solutions.
I commend the leadership your region has shown on climate change. Which is reflected in the Kainaki II Declaration, the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific.
And despite contributing only a fraction of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, many of you are coming forward with updates to your NDCs.
You are setting a powerful example and encouraging countries around the world to raise their ambition. On mitigation, on adaptation and on finance.
Last week, the United Kingdom announced its NDC. Committing to cut our emissions by at least 68% by 2030, which keeps us on the pathway to our 2050 Net Zero commitment.
Soon we will be submitting our first Adaptation Communication.
And more leaders will announce commitments at the Climate Ambition Summit, which the UK is hosting tomorrow, with the UN and France and in partnership with Italy and Chile.
And the Summit builds on events that have taken place across the world.
From the CARICOM Moment of Ambition Roundtable that the UK is co-hosting with Caribbean partners today.
To this “Kainaki II to COP26” Roundtable.
I would like to thank all those of you who are making announcements at the Summit tomorrow.
And also those who have said they will announce new commitments in the coming months.
Such targets are absolutely vital. But alongside them, we must drive practical solutions for reducing emissions. By working together, we can make progress faster.
So our COP26 campaigns are focusing attention on five critical areas: transport; energy; nature-based solutions; adaptation and resilience; and finance.
And we are highlighting adaptation as a priority and encouraging action. We’ve recently appointed a new international champion for adaptation and resilience, Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
Anne-Marie will help to lead our drive forward towards global ambition and action.
And it’s by supporting countries on the frontline of climate change that we will be able to help the adaptation to its impacts and build resilience.
We’re also working to increase public and private finance, urging donor countries to meet the $100 billion commitment. And to go beyond it.
Leading by example, the UK is doubling its international climate finance commitment to £11.6 billion over the next five years.
We’re also working to make public finance more accessible.
And to get more money for adaptation. We’re working with multilateral development banks, investors, and others.
And I know that this approach is shared by Australia and New Zealand., and I’m committed to our working closely together.
I have heard this forum’s call on averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage.
And over the next year I want to increase our understanding of all the issues that matter to you. And how they can be addressed.
And this includes listening to your views on how best the Kainaki II recommendations can be reflected in the outcomes of COP26.
So we will be increasing our engagement with the Pacific.
In the new year, we’ll be holding events to discuss the issues that matter to vulnerable countries.
And we will also ensure that your priorities are heard at the G7 and the G20. And, of course, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting next year.
Because I am determined to amplify the voices of climate vulnerable countries and put them at the heart of the COP26 process.
So that together, we unleash the full potential of the Paris Agreement in Glasgow. And by doing so build a brighter and more sustainable future for us all.