NZ signals long-term Pacific climate change strategy


New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister says the government has agreed to a long term approach to assist Pacific Island states in meeting the challenges of climate change.

Winston Peters said the cabinet’s strategy would assist the Pacific with development assistance that focuses on practical projects for climate change adaption and mitigation.

This includes building better infrastructure and developing disaster preparedness.

The government will also look at ways to avert climate displacement of people.

According to Mr Peters, the approach was a response to the wishes of Pacific leaders who are concerned with protecting their people’s social and cultural identity.

The government said it would also support the “progressive development of international law to protect Pacific Island coastal state rights in the face of sea-level rises”.

“We cannot ignore the risks faced by our Pacific Island neighbours who are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” Mr Peters said.

“Supporting Pacific peoples’ desire to remain in their own countries translates into prioritising regional and country-level-initiatives that build resilience and adaption to climate change.”

According to the minister, the government’s approach will put New Zealand at the forefront of a wider Pacific regional effort to be a world leader in responding to climate change.