The government has announced a long-term agreement to assist Pacific Island states in meeting the challenges of climate change.
According to Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, the 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.
“We cannot ignore the risks faced by our Pacific Island neighbours who are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” he said. “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.”
Peters said the support will include building better infrastructure and developing disaster preparedness. Similarly, 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 today will put New Zealand at the forefront of supporting that effort,” the minister added.