Remarks on Blue Carbon program to COP26 in Glasgow
It's wonderful for us to come together at COP26 to share how we are working together to accelerate practical action and reduce emissions.
Australia recognizes that nature-based solutions are critical to global efforts on climate change, and blue carbon is a key part of this.
I'm excited to share with you the work we're doing, together with our Pacific family, to manage, protect and restore coastal blue carbon ecosystems.
Now these ecosystems, which include mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows are globally significant carbon sinks.
Better management of these systems will enhance food security, support livelihoods and increase resilience, all the while sequestering carbon.
Australia is partnering with our neighbours in Indonesia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea to deliver on this potential.
Together, these four countries are home to approximately 30 per cent of the global blue carbon ecosystems.
We've worked with global experts to develop a technical advice manual for reporting coastal wetlands in national greenhouse gas inventories.
The new resource provides practical advice on how to implement the IPCC Wetlands Supplement to measure, report and verify emissions and removals from blue carbon ecosystems.
This advice is targeted at inventory compilers, policy advisers, research institutes and agencies.
This isn't the first time Australia has supported countries to implement climate change mitigation strategies for nature-based solutions.
Through our leadership of the Global Forest Observations Initiative, we've made a significant contribution to the development of comprehensive, user friendly guidance on REDD+ activities which reduce emissions from terrestrial forests.
By replicating that collaborative approach to setting global standards, we're confident that we can help countries to produce results that are compliant with the IPCC good practice guidance and help them submit high quality UNFCCC reports.
In collaboration with the Coral Triangle Center, we're also developing a blue carbon policy training course, and we're pleased to announce that several of the modules are now available through Australia's COP Pavilion website.
These include training materials on international policy frameworks and an introductory webinar on climate finance and carbon markets.
This training material also features interviews with experts to demonstrate the wealth of expertise and breadth of work being undertaken to take action in our region.
Through the International Partnership for Blue Carbon, we'll continue to develop these products into a series of online training and reference tools, enabling remote delivery and a broad audience.
Together, these products will help all countries more easily monitor and manage coastal wetland ecosystems and enable activities to protect and rehabilitate these ecosystems.
This is building the foundation for strong commitments to protect blue carbon and access to finance to carry out these commitments.
Around the world there's growing interest in financing nature-based solutions. Last year around 47 million tonnes of offsets were transacted in voluntary carbon markets around the world.
In Australia, our Emissions Reduction Fund is going from strength to strength, with 100 million tonne of abatement recently credited.
The scheme will deliver around 17 million tonnes of abatement this year alone.
With Australia's support, our partner countries will be able to incorporate blue carbon into their national policies and meet their UNFCCC reporting obligations on greenhouse gas inventories and nationally determined contributions.
For more information on COP26 Glasgow, visit COP26: Australia at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties.