The UK is leading global solidarity on action to tackle climate change, and Mark Field’s visit is the second successive year a UK Minister has attended the Pacific Islands Forum, where climate change is threatening the very existence of several island nations.
The Pacific Islands Forum comprises 14 countries, of which 11 are Commonwealth members. The UK will be stepping up its engagement in the region with three additional diplomatic missions in Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu. This will enable greater joint working on climate change issues, as well as further regional work to promote the rules-based international system.
Minister Field said:
Britain has proudly led the way on tackling climate change around the world and, as a developed country, we have a moral imperative to help those around the globe who stand to lose most from the consequences of man-made climate change.
The message I am taking to this important Pacific Islands Forum is that unless we work together, with our Commonwealth friends and those who share our values in the region, we risk the very real tragedy of some of these islands literally disappearing off the map.
The UK is among the largest contributors of international climate finance and in the four years to 2020 will be giving developing countries over £5.5 billion to help them mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. This will build on commitments made at the Commonwealth Head of Governments Meeting in London earlier this year, including the Blue Charter and the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance.