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COP28 an opportunity for Australia to demonstrate they’re genuine climate allies to the Pacific, says Vanuatu Minister for Climate Change.

ActionAid 2 mins read

COP28 is an opportunity for Australia to demonstrate they are genuine climate allies to the Pacific, says Honourable Ralph Regenvanu, Vanuatu Minister for Climate Change


On the first day of COP28, the Honourable Ralph Regenvanu, Vanuatu Minister for Climate Change outlined the ways in which Australia can be a genuine climate ally to the Pacific at an event in Sydney hosted by international women’s rights charity, ActionAid Australia.


Honourable Ralph Regenvanu, Vanuatu Minister for Climate Change said: “Pacific Island nations, including my home country of Vanuatu, sit on the front lines of the climate crisis. We face rising sea levels that threaten to swallow our homes and increasingly frequent and increasingly destructive weather events.”


“Climate change poses the greatest threat to our livelihoods and the well-being of our people. Our ability to adapt to the direct threat posed by climate change is dependent on nations like Australia taking tangible action towards a fossil fuel free world.”


“The time has come to demonstrate that commitments to climate action are more than just rhetoric, and with its financial resources and international influence, Australia can be genuine climate ally to Pacific nations like Vanuatu.”


Flora Vano, Program Manager at ActionAid Vanuatu, who will be travelled to COP28 as a member of the official government delegation of Vanuatu, said: “In our part of the world, we constantly live with the harsh realities of the climate crisis. Just as we are recovering from one cyclone, a new one strikes.


We’re exhausted. Our ability to deal with these endless challenges is held back by a lack of real funding. At COP28, our communities are relying on the wealthy countries to take responsibility for the loss and damage caused by their fossil fuels, and to provide adequate funding in the form of grants to ensure that we can adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change.”


Michelle Higelin, Executive Director at ActionAid Australia: “As the third-largest fossil fuel exporter, with over 100 new coal and gas projects in the pipeline, Australia’s addiction to fossil fuel expansion is at fundamental odds with the Paris Agreement and poses an existential threat to our Pacific neighbours.”


“At COP28, Australia has an opportunity to demonstrate firm and tangible commitments in supporting our Pacific neighbours to cope with the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. This includes paying our fair share of global climate finance, providing additional funding for the Loss and Damage Fund and increasing our ambition for building a fossil fuel free world.”




For more information and interviews with ActionAid spokespeople, please contact: Tim Brunero 0405 285 547 / 


About ActionAid Australia

ActionAid Australia is part of a global federation working with more than 41 million people living in more than 71 of the world’s poorest countries. We want to see a just, fair, and sustainable world, in which everybody enjoys the right to a life of dignity, and freedom from poverty and oppression. We work to achieve social justice, climate action and gender equality.


About ActionAid Vanuatu

Since Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu in 2015, ActionAid Vanuatu has supported women’s leadership in response to climate change and disasters through the Women I TokTok Tugeta (WITTT) network. The WITTT network provides safe spaces for over 9,000 women across five islands to build their knowledge and long-term solutions to the impacts of climate change.

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