Australia and New Zealand are hoping to make a joint bid with Pacific nations to host a future United Nations climate summit.
The leaders of the two nations, Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern met on Friday.
Both nations have renewed their strategies about engaging with the Pacific and both know that winning Pacific hearts is about stronger action on climate change.
Mr Albanese and Ms Ardern have discussed the proposal and say it will be put to the Pacific leaders when they travel to Fiji next week.
While the proposal would suit the Pacific nations well and allow them to show climate change in action if a summit takes place, environmental group Greenpeace feels firm commitments are required from Australia and New Zealand.
Greenpeace want the two nations to back the Vanuatu government-led campaign for an International Court of Justice (IJC) advisory opinion on the human rights impacts of climate change.
Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change campaigner Vishal Prasad said this was the true way to help the Pacific.
“By endorsing the campaign for an advisory opinion on the human rights impacts of climate change at the International Court of Justice, countries can help Pacific nations on the frontline of the climate crisis have a greater voice on the international stage, and force governments to consider the human rights impacts of climate inaction and climate policy,” he said.
“Leaders must now step up to support it, starting here in Suva at the Pacific Islands Forum next week.
Senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific Steph Hodgins-May said Mr Albanese’s pledge to build a stronger Pacific family and to co-host a COP climate summit with Pacific Island nations and New Zealand was welcomed.
“Nations which are on the frontline of the climate crisis – many of which are in the Pacific – are bearing the brunt of cyclones, rising seas, and other extreme weather events.
“These climate impacts are destroying the human rights of millions of people. Their livelihoods, health, and environments are at serious risk, yet they have little recourse to change their circumstances.
Greenpeace feels that an ICJ ruling will explore how climate change is affecting the human rights of people and create legal clarity on how to address it, including providing an international legal framework for those experiencing the worst of the climate crisis to affect broad, accelerated change.