U.K. assures of climate change assistance

The United Kingdom will continue to assist the Pacific Islands in terms of mitigating the effects of climate action, says the U.K. Acting High Commissioner to Samoa, Ian Richards.

The British diplomat told the Samoa Observer in an interview on Wednesday that the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November this year will be an important opportunity for the world to discuss their priorities for climate change and the environment.

He said these includes the Pacific Islands and emphasised that the U.K. knows how important and how unique the situation is in the region and revealed that next month there will be a conference between incoming COP26 President Alok Sharma and Pacific leaders.

Mr. Richards highlighted some of his country's climate initiatives such as the Blue Planet Fund, which is a £500 million fund aimed at protecting the marine environment which will run for five years and strive to address biodiversity loss and prevent marine pollution.

He said that this will have a resonance in the Pacific as the region was one of the three areas mentioned.

Other recent and past initiatives led by the U.K. include a joint U.K. and Vanuatu initiative called the Clean Oceans Alliance, the greening of the Pacific Games, a project with the United Nations Development Programme on glass recovery, and initiatives with the Samoa Conservation Society and the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) Lanulauava Student Association.

Mr. Richards emphasised that the work of their office will continue, adding that for the U.K. to open a mission in Samoa is a big step and commitment and that climate change will inevitably be a very important focus for them.

The assurance from the Acting High Commissioner comes on the back of the 47th Group of Seven (G7) Summit which was convened recently in Cornwall, England with climate change also at the centre of the international economic group's discussions.

The Group of Seven is an inter-governmental political forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

One of the topics discussed at the G7 Summit was climate and environment which included collectively committing to ambitious and accelerated efforts to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and by 2050 at the latest.

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