Australian High Commission Hosts Third Annual Climate Change Tok Stori

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ON 18 August 2023, the Australian High Commission hosted the third annual Climate Change Tok Stori with stakeholders from across government and non-government to discuss how Australia and Solomon Islands can work together to further action on climate change.

Speaking at the event, High Commissioner Rod Hilton said, “Australia wants to hear about how climate change is affecting Solomon Islanders and how the Pacific family can work together to create change.”

The Minister for National Planning and Development Coordination, The Hon Rexon Ramofafia said, ‘‘The Solomon Islands Government values this engagement with Australia on meeting the challenges posed by climate change.”

The event provided a platform for young Solomon Islanders to share their voices on climate change. Three Solomon Islander students were awarded prizes for their winning entries in the Solomon Islands Climate Action Network (SICAN) climate change poetry competition, with the theme “People First – Our Actions Shape the World”.

High Commissioner Hilton, Minister for National Planning and Development Coordination Hon Rexon Ramofafia, Minister for Education and Human Resources Development, the Hon Lanelle Tanangada, Climate Change champions, Poetry competition prize winners and guests who attended the Climate Change Tok Stori. Photo by Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands

Minister for Education and Human Resources Development, the Hon Lanelle Tanangada, also attended the event to show her support for student prize winners.

Australia is listening to Pacific voices on climate change as we find a way forward together through the climate crisis. The Climate Change Tok Stori was an opportunity to learn from the experiences of the Solomon Islands Government, civil society, youth, and implementing partners on possible paths forward as a region and globally.

Participants heard stories from Solomon Islander climate champions about the issues that are affecting Solomon Islands’ communities and how they are taking action on climate change.

Around the world, action to achieve net zero emissions has accelerated. This transformation is the most significant shift in the world’s economy since the industrial revolution. Australia

is taking strong action and investing over AU$40 billion in decarbonising our economy and we are working with countries to scale up global action.

Roberta Baux,10, from Chung Wah School delivering her poetry presentation. Photo by Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands

In September 2022, the Australian Government passed the Climate Change Act 2022, enshrining targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050 in legislation. Australia joins many others who have increased their 2030 targets, but the science is clear that greater global ambition, and effective implementation, is needed.

As Australia realises its aspirations to become a renewable superpower, we will increase energy security, and contribute to decarbonisation efforts both domestically and globally. Australia is supporting an orderly global transition to net-zero by 2050, working with partners to decarbonise their economies and build their resilience to the impacts of climate change.

The three Poetry Competition Prize Winners. Photo by Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands

In October 2022, Australia committed to increasing Australia’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Pacific region by AUD900 million. This includes new spending to respond to climate change through the new Pacific Climate Infrastructure Partnership, the Weather Ready Pacific initiative and to address other Pacific priorities.

The Australian Government’s new international development policy, released earlier this month, puts Australia’s commitment to climate action at the heart of the development program. New targets will ensure Australian development assistance tackles climate impacts.

Source: Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands

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