Turnbull urges 'commitment' to climate change action

  • 28/11/2015
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (left) and John Key in opening ceremony for Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) (AAP)
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (left) and John Key in opening ceremony for Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) (AAP)

By Lloyd Jones, AAP Europe Correspondent

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has encouraged other Commonwealth leaders to send a powerful signal to other nations that strong climate change action is needed.

Mr Turnbull on Friday (local time) was at a special climate change session at the Commonwealth leaders' summit in Malta, also attended by special guests French President Francois Holland and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

On Sunday Mr Turnbull flies to Paris for the key COP21 summit aimed at achieving a global accord on tackling climate change and reducing carbon emissions.

He urged those around the table on Friday to sign up to the Commonwealth leaders' climate change statement.

"Ahead of COP21 it is a powerful signal to other countries of the world to show a similar level of ambition and commitment to working together for a strong result in Paris," he said.

The prime minister also on Friday announced an Australian contribution of $A1 million to the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub to be based in Mauritius.

The hub will help least-developed countries and small island developing states including those in the Pacific to access funds for environmental projects in response to climate change.

Mr Turnbull also announced that Australia would join the working group to explore the Commonwealth's US$1 billion (NZ$1.52 billion) Green Finance Facility Initiative, also aimed at developing nations.

Hollande told reporters after the climate change session that what he sought in Paris was "a binding agreement, a universal agreement, one that is ambitious".

"Man is the worst enemy of man. We can see it with terrorism," he said, after flying in from Paris where he led ceremonies on Friday to remember the victims of the November 13 terror attacks in the city.

"But we can say the same when it comes to climate. Human beings are destroying nature, damaging the environment.

"It is therefore for human beings to face up to their responsibilities for the good of future generations."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was encouraged by the "strong commitment" shown by Commonwealth leaders to tackle climate change.

AAP