JULIE BISHOP: We just had a discussion about how well Australia and France are working together on the impact of climate change, and plans to a low emissions future. First, I want to pay tribute to Minister Royal and indeed to the French for their superb diplomacy during COP21 which led to this historic Paris Agreement. And, Segolene, I pay tribute to you in particular for the work that you did to ensure that the Paris Agreement came into being and indeed, it’s been such a success.
Australia ratified the agreement last week, and we joined 108 other countries I believe on last count, to ratify the agreement. Our focus today has been particularly on the issue of our oceans and coral reefs, and last evening I was delighted to be here to speak at the “Because the Ocean” event. I spoke about our commitment to maintaining, preserving, conserving coral reefs around the world, and in the case of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, which is the size of Germany or Italy, off our east coast. Australia has committed to the long term preservation and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef through a plan, a 35 year plan up to 2050, with a $2 billion commitment to ensuring that our reef is sustainable.
I also am delighted that 20 years on from Australia and France, and six other countries, developing the International Coral Reef Initiative, we now have a plan of action that deals with the impact of climate change. ICRI, as it’s known, has been doing great work for 20 years, now we have a plan of action that heightens our awareness and understanding of the impact of climate change on coral reefs.
So Australia and France, partners in so many areas, and now working very closely together on climate change, the impact of climate change, and we have a very similar view on how we can implement the Paris Agreement and what we need to do here at COP22. So Minister Royal, thank you very much for taking the time to discuss coral reefs and Australia and France working together in this important area. Thank you.
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