Pacific parliamentarians investigate climate change responses

Parliamentarians from Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa and Tonga are investigating responses to climate change as part of a study visit to Australia. Sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme, the study visit is focusing on ways in which Pacific parliamentarians can engage with climate change issues as part of their legislative, representative and oversight roles.

The parliamentarians visited the University of Sydney where they held a roundtable discussion with a number of academics undertaking research in fields impacted by climate change, including health, agriculture and planning.

In Canberra detailed briefings were provided at CSIRO, including on the changing climate in the Pacific, food security and improving adaptation. At Parliament House, the delegation is meeting with the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Islands Affairs Matt Thistlethwaite, the Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change Yvette D’Ath, Shadow Minister for Climate Action Greg Hunt, the House of Representatives Climate Change Committee, Speaker Anna Burke and Acting Senate President Stephen Parry.

The Australian Parliament is supporting this initiative through its Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships program, funded by AusAID.

The delegation is also inspecting energy efficiency and water saving projects implemented at Parliament House. The visit will encourage ongoing dialogue and information exchange between Australian and Pacific parliamentarians on climate change responses and the role parliamentarians can play.

Climate change delegation with Speaker Anna Burke

Pacific Island parliamentarians with Speaker Anna Burke and acting President of the Senate Stephen Parry