Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, will represent the European Union in the annual Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) meeting in Majuro, Marshall Islands, on 3-5 September. This year's meeting focuses on the Pacific region's response to climate change. Commissioner Hedegaard will also visit Manila for talks with Philippines government representatives and the Asian Development Bank on 6 September.
Commissioner Hedegaard said: "It is my ambition to make the European Union and the Pacific region partners in advancing the global climate change agenda. The Pacific region can count on Europe's climate cooperation and ambition. We count on the Pacific region to help us bringing all other major economies on board of an ambitious future climate regime to be finalized in 2015.There is no time to lose if we want to avoid that devastating climate-driven disasters become the new normal.''
The PIF, founded in 1971, is the Pacific region's major political and economic policy institution. This year's meeting has the title 'Marshalling the Pacific Response to the Climate Challenge.'
As well as taking part in the formal meeting of the PIF, Commissioner Hedegaard will meet bilaterally with several Pacific island leaders. These meetings will focus on the effects of climate change in the region as well as on progress in international negotiations towards finalising a new international climate agreement in 2015 and stepping up global climate action before 2020.
In Manila Commissioner Hedegaard's programme will include meetings with President Benigno Aquino, with representatives of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, and with the management of the Asian Development Bank. She will also have a lunch meeting with representatives of Philippine civil society.