Australia’s bid to host the COP31 climate talks is a chance to catalyse climate action around the world and revive our global reputation, said the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia.
The Australian Government today announced a campaign to host the UN climate summit in 2026, in partnership with Pacific Island countries.
WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman welcomed the announcement and encouraged all Australians to get behind the bid.
“This is an Olympic moment - a huge opportunity to host a nation-building global event,” said Mr O’Gorman.
“It will benefit all of Australia and our Pacific neighbours.
“It will bring investment to our shores and shine the spotlight on our renewable energy capabilities, from Queensland’s investment in renewable hydrogen production to South Australia’s leadership in energy storage.
“Winning this bid won’t be easy, but if we’re successful it will help catalyse climate action in Australia and revive our global reputation. The world will be better off if Australia steps up its ambition for greater climate action.
“We need all of Australia - state governments, the business community and civil society - to back this campaign.
“This is the kind of leadership we need to show to be competitive in a net zero world.”
Mr O’Gorman said Australia should also reconsider its position on allowing new coal and gas developments.
“If Australia is serious about hosting a COP with the Pacific, we must become a global leader on climate action,” he said.
“We need to exit from fossil fuels on a set timeline and deliver on climate finance to support our Pacific neighbours, who have contributed the least to the climate emergency yet are experiencing the brunt of its impacts.
“Wealthy countries, including Australia, still haven’t met their $100 billion pledge to help developing countries face climate change, and the risks are rising.
“To build a COP31 that will really make a difference, the work starts now.”
Mr O’Gorman also welcomed today’s appointment of Kristin Tilley as Australia’s Ambassador for Climate Change.
“We’re pleased to see Australia reinstate this vital role and we look forward to working with Ms Tilley to increase the pace of our climate action and make the bid for COP31 a success.”