GLASGOW: PNG’s COP26 Special Envoy and Minister for Environment Conservation & Climate Change, Hon. Wera Mori, MP, says the outcomes and benefits from his delegation’s attendance and participation at the COP26 Climate Summit, can be seen as a win-win for Papua New Guinea.

He said that to secure PNG’s national interest at international meetings like COP26, it comes at a significant cost to Government, hence since arrival in Glasgow he reminded the delegation to be mindful of tax payers expense and meaningfully participate, at the COP26 and related meetings.

“This is to ensure whatever assistance is secured at high-level meetings with interested investors, complements PNG's overall climate change adaptation and mitigation objectives,” Special Envoy Mori said.

“Our aim is to join like-minded countries in endorsing the Paris Rule Book, to ensure reduction in global greenhouse gas emission targets, to save the global environment and more importantly preserve PNG’s pristine rainforest in a sustainable manner, securing global carbon markets to trade our carbon credits, to interested investors.

“Such will directly benefit, empower and improve livelihoods of our resource owners and rural communities in PNG, creating much needed revenue for Provincial and the National Government,” Minister Mori added.

He said that the Agreements and Arrangements that have been signed on the margins of COP26, will far outweigh the figure that critics are mischeviously quoting on the official delegations travel and related expenses to COP26,” Minister Mori said.

The Agreements and Arrangements that have been concluded are as follows:

  • MoU with Australia on Capacity Building to Participate in Global Carbon Markets;
  • Host Country Agreement with ICRAF on Forest Conservation; and
  • Master Development Agreement with Fortescue Futures Industries on Development of Alternative Sources of Clean Energy.

To provide an accountability on the delegation’s participation, a NEC Policy Submission has been formulated by my officials here on the ground in Glasgow, listing the Agreements concluded and the practical outcomes,emanating from COP26.

In terms of the delegation responsibilities, unlike previous duty travels, all delegation members including the Parliamentarians and Government officials have been organized, coordinated and individually assigned to attend designated meetings and side-events, and report back to Special Envoy, Minister Mori, accordingly. 

“I’m overly impressed with most of our politicians on this delegation, who have engaged in meetings and provided constructive policy advisory support to me,” Minister Mori said.

“During our Delegation Team meeting upon arrival in Glasgow on 31 October, I made it absolutely clear that we were all here at the expense of our tax payers’ funds and that we were each obligated to vigorously pursue PNG climate change issues, to draw maximum returns and outcomes that would save Planet Earth and complement our national budget and development agendas.

PNG and the Pacific Island Forum Countries have continued to bear the brunt of extreme weather patternsand it was vital that their interest was progressed to achieve tangible outcomes.

For issues relating to composition of the delegation, I wish to place on record that, a good number of PNG delegates did not travel due to lack of funding and given that they did not meet the COVID-19 protocols or had prior commitments thereby drastically reducing the delegation numbers.

On the contentious issue of costs, a sizeable number of PNG delegates were funded by the Australian Government and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Coalition of Rainforest Nations (CfRN) Secretariat officials, totalling 28 were included in the PNGdelegation and paid their own expenses. They were included in our delegation given that Minister Mori is the Current Chair of the CfRN, thus increasing the size of the PNG Official Delegation.