6 Nov 2021

COP26: Pacific, EU launch landmark alliance

11:23 am on 6 November 2021

Pacific and European Union negotiators have launched the Blue Green Alliance at the COP26 Conference of Parties' session in Glasgow.

The EU's Ambassador to the Pacific, Sujiro Seam, said all stakeholders lobbied for an ambitious outcome and accessibility to climate funding.

Seam said the EU will need to show the Pacific how best it can support the implementation of the recently adopted Climate Change Act.

European Union's ambassador for the Pacific, Sujiro Seam.

European Union's ambassador for the Pacific, Sujiro Seam. Photo: Twitter / Sujiro Seam

"This is a package of available financing of 197 million Euros for the years 2021 to 2027. This will be implemented in the countries of the Pacific with a very strong focus on climate change."

Seam said the EU will hold further talks with member states to ensure their interests and priorities align with the Climate Act.

Alliance partner members have already established relationships in several countries, to work with governments and enhance their domestic policy, planning, and regulatory frameworks, as well as create more favourable investment environments.

Mark Carney, the UN's special envoy on climate action and finance, said the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) deal demonstrated how the financial sector was "no longer a mirror that reflects a world that's not doing enough".

However, environmental groups warned there were too many loopholes in the ambitious plan and no legal obligation on the part of financial institutions to steer clear from investing in carbon-heavy activities.

At the global level, there is a commitment from developed countries to provide $US100 billion in climate finance to countries which need it the most, Seam said.

He said the EU is taking more than its fair share because they are contributing $25 billion. He said the EU only contributes to eight percent of carbon emissions.

"The key priority areas at COP26 will include keeping 1.5 degrees alive, scaling up support for adaptation and loss & damage, oceans climate nexus, increased climate finance and finalising the Paris Agreement rule book," he said.

Pacific youth rally for climate justice

A Tokelaun woman brings her climate message to the Auckland rally.

A Tokelaun woman brings her climate message to the Auckland rally. Photo: Christine Rovoi

Pacific climate warriors marched in Glasgow this week as world leaders continue to negotiate how best to save the planet.

To mark Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, thousands of young environment advocates from across the world converged on the COP26 city.

Over 50,000 people attended the Glasgow rally on Friday.

Pacific climate activist Brianna Fruean said if the Pacific is saved, the world can also be saved.

Brianna Fruean.

Brianna Fruean. Photo: Christine Rovoi

The Samoan student of Auckland University earlier addressed the UN climate meeting.

"It's like trying to talk to leaders who continuously not listen. So how do we tell that story different? I think for years UN and big structures like this has expected Pacific Islanders to come and cry and to come and show them our pain and say, we are here please help us, please save us. And that's not the story I wanted to tell, I wanted to tell that story of resilience."

And while she is now the face of the region, Fruean said she been inspired by many people.

"I am not one person, I am a collective of many. I have been so lucky to be enriched by our Pasifika people. Many of my elders who come from Fiji too. I call them elders because I learn from them and wisdom too and a lot of them who say they are youth adjacent.

"People like George Nacewa, Alisi Nacewa, his wife, all people that you might but… Fenton Lutunatabua, they my mentors and they are the people who have guided me to come this far."