Prime Ministers Media Releases

PM MARAPE EXPLAINS ATTENDANCE OF OFFICIAL DELEGATION TO COP 26

PORT MORESBY: Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, clarifies the misreporting on PNG official delegation’s attendance at the current COP26 Climate Summit, in Scotland, led by Special Envoy and Minister for Environment, Conservation & Climate Change Hon. Wera Mori.
 
In response to Friday’s Post Courier headlines of costs involved for the delegation traveling to Glasgow, Scotland, Prime Minister Marape said that the official delegations are all attending COP26 and related meetings sanctioned by NEC, given that PNG’s climate change agenda is different than most nations, and we were targeting an economic return for our forest and oceans in not just the main COP 26 meeting but other high-level meetings which are running on the margins also.
 
“The decision to approve for leaders to accompany the Special Envoy, was for them all to fully participate at the Summit and side events and to state our case that we mean business. If the world wants our forest to be saved then big carbon emitting nations and industries must pay us to conserve our forest as well as funding our climate mitigation efforts.”
 
“I am advised by Minister Mori that he had assigned them to specific side meetings and they had performed exceptionally well, given that for some of them, it was their first time to engage in an international meeting.” said PM Marape.
 
“The issues of climate change, its effects, the adaptation and mitigation efforts, and the whole concept of carbon credits and REDD + is an important and emerging agenda for our country, and it is important that more of our leaders are aware of the opportunities which are going to emerge out of these discussions”
 
One such valuable meeting was the Governor Juffa initiated sustainable forest conservation and management pilot project in Managalas (Oro Province) that culminated in the formalization of a Host Country Agreement, on the margins of COP26, with the International Council for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF). That now enables this project to commence and engage resource owners in preserving their ecosystem in an economically sustainable manner. 
 
Additionally, Special Envoy Mori signed a MOU on Capacity Building for Participation in Global Carbon Markets with his Australian counterpart, Angus Taylor.
 
Further and quite significantly, our Energy Minister Hon. Saki Soloma signed a Master Development Agreement with the Principal of Fortescue Futures Industries, Dr Andrew Forrest, for transition to alternative sources of cleaner energy, which will see our Hydro and Geothermal sites developed for hydrogen ammonia based clean energy of the future and these projects are equivalent to multibillion dollar projects.
 
These augurs well with my government’s initiative to promote Green Energy by 2030 and transition into a carbon neutral country by 2050 as stated in our country’s Vision 2050. Over and above the green energy agenda, the deal with Fortescue Futures Industry, represents important investments domestically, employment for our people and taxes for the government. These are important outcomes that outweigh the cost of getting there.” PM Marape said.
 
As for the officials’ it is far less than 62 and they comprised of selected government departments and agencies including the Climate Change Development Authority, National Energy Authority, the departments of Foreign Affairs & International Trade, Forest, Agriculture, Works & Implementation, Justice & Attorney-General and my Department, that have been directly involved in negotiating PNG’s position at the global climate summit on accessing global carbon markets and climate funds for adaptation and mitigation.
 
To provide an overall accountability of the PNG delegation’s participation at COP26, an NEC Policy Submission is currently being prepared by officials to capture the outcomes of Special Envoys meetings and the conclusion of the above arrangements including a Matrix for implementation. The delegation is accountable to the National Executive Council, and they will dutifully ensure that the details of their work in Glasgow is presented to NEC for deliberation and for actions later. 
 
“Special Envoy Mori has full authority to negotiate global carbon markets given the recent passage in Parliament of the Climate Change Management Act amendment and access to global carbon markets, will draw maximum returns and greatly complement our national budget and development agendas,” said Prime Minister Marape.
 
“I will ensure these outcomes are effectively implemented, as they will generate maximum returns that will far outweigh the figures that these faceless people are exaggerating.
 
The Prime Minister also said it is important to note that part of our delegation is registered as PNG delegates but represented the Coalition for Rainforest, an outfit, championed by the late Great Grand Chief, Sir Michael Somare. The staff from the Coalition for Rainforest and Ernst and Young Accountants travelled at their own cost to support Minister Mori who is current Chair of CfRN. They sponsored the PNG Pavilion, which was an important part of the facility that greatly enhanced our presence in Glasgow. 
 
This is a serious business trip where PNG as 13% holder of earth’s rainforest and 6% of biodiversity are attending to demand that the big industries and industrialized nations must pay PNG to converse our forests. The gains from this engagement will far outweigh the cost of attending, which appears to be the current concern. 
 
At present, forestry harvest contributes to our economy and if other countries want us to conserve our forest, then they must pay money equivalent or above the forest sector revenue we gain at present which is around $1billion every year. The forest area people need income for development including good roads, schools and health care too.
 
Secondly the industries and their nations must pay the climate change mitigation funds for the damages due to sea level rises and other climates changes we experience in small island states and communities.
 
“Least we forget the G20 nations have pledge to put up over $100 billion annually for both conservation of forest and climate mitigation hence our leaders and officials were sent not for just one COP 26 session but many other meetings and lobby that were happening for our nation’s cause.” PM Marape said.
 
The Prime Minister also appealed for people to understand the mechanics of COP 26, the side events, and the technical negotiation that is taking place, to clearly understand the importance of the work that our technical and policy officials are doing. 
 
“It is more than what meets the eye, and sometimes our discussions on these matters and the conclusions we draw is based on incomplete information and a misunderstanding of what these global events are about, without giving some recognition to those who are the forefront of getting important deals for our country through negotiations.” PM Marape said.  

PRIME MINISTER MARAPE WELCOMES DEVELOPMENT AT SCPNG

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP today welcomes the news that a long standing leadership tussle affecting the regulatory body Securities Commission of Papua New Guinea has now been resolved.

This news now paves the way for the Government to consolidate and appoint a permanent Chairman going forward. The Securities Commission of PNG is responsible for the growth and development of the organic capital market. It is, therefore, important that the stakeholders are not confused as to the leadership of this regulatory body. 

"I am relieved that this matter is now resolved and that the market can respond to any regulatory imposition with confidence and clarity.”

The last four years have been very difficult and as a country and fledgling market we could not afford the opportunities we may have missed with the prevailing confusion over leadership, and our genuine attempts at resolving this has been hampered with court orders.

In addition, Prime Minister Marape said his Government, which was dependent on this, could now move very quickly forward with the Oil Search and Santos merger, including plans to liberalize and reform PomSox.

He further stated that the recruitment for this position would be done soon to get a qualified person for this role.

"I will be encouraging the Honorable Minister William Samb, Acting Minister for Commerce and Industry to move quickly to go to the market and recruit a qualified Papua New Guinean to fill this role permanently.”

He commended the aggrieved parties for agreeing to this outcome, and for Secretaries, Ivan Pomaleu and Dr Eric Kwa for providing the leadership on this occasion.

MORI: OUTCOMES FROM COP26 A WIN-WIN FOR PNG

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.

AUSTRALIA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA AGREE TO CREATE ACCESSIBLE CARBON MARKET FOR REGION

Australia and Papua New Guinea have agreed to join forces to create an efficient and accessible carbon market for the region under the Indo-Pacific Carbon Offsets Scheme.

Following talks with PNG’s Special Climate Envoy and Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change, Hon. Wera Mori in Glasgow, Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Hon. Angus Taylor announced PNG would be one of the first international partners to join the scheme.

Minister Taylor said: “Papua New Guinea has been longstanding leader on climate change, making a major contribution to the preservation of global forests. Australia is a world leader in emissions measurement and inventory management,” Minister Taylor said.

“The partnership will see our two countries share expertise to ensure Papua New Guinea is internationally recognised as a source of high-integrity carbon mitigation outcomes.”

Minister Mori said: “The signing of the MOU this morning between Papua New Guinea and Australia on Cooperation to Build Capacity for Participation in Global Carbon Markets is significant for us as a country to engage in the Indo-Pacific Carbon Offset Scheme which Australia is launching today.

“Papua New Guinea’s engagement in this scheme is critical given our on-going work on REDD plus in preparation to develop carbon markets and the country’s engagement under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement once concluded including our conservation efforts.

“While the negotiations are yet to be concluded in Article 6, Papua New Guinea agrees to a robust carbon trading system that is fair and promotes environmental integrity and sustainable development.

“The Government of Papua New Guinea congratulates Australia on the launch of the Indo-Pacific Carbon Offset Scheme and assure of our commitment through the Australia -PNG Climate Action Plan.”

Under the Indo-Pacific Carbon Offsets Scheme, Australia will share technical expertise in carbon accounting with countries in our region to enable them to meet new Paris Agreement emissions reporting obligations.

The scheme will deliver renewable energy and nature-based solutions projects to support neighbouring countries to reduce emissions and grow their economies.

Australia has also entered an early partnership with Fiji.

“Our partnership with Papua New Guinea will include a focus on encouraging private sector participation in carbon market activities, and emissions reduction projects that showcase Papua New Guinea’s potential for high-integrity offsets,” Minister Taylor said.

Minister Taylor said he and Minister Mori also discussed ambitions for COP26, and bilateral cooperation on energy access and on blue carbon.

The discussions and signing took place on the side-lines of COP26 on Wednesday 03 November 2021 and builds on the existing Australia PNG Climate Action Plan and complemented by recent passage of the Climate Change (Management) (Amendment) Bill 2021.