The UK has announced plans to bar all avoidable single-use plastics in its missions in the South Pacific as part of its wider ambition to champion Climate Risk and Resilience at the UN’s Climate Summit in 2019.
Britain is currently undertaking three diplomatic missions in the region of the Pacific Islands, in Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, and intends to bar all avoidable single-use plastics from these missions as part of global efforts to combat plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.
This step is part of a wider UK commitment to cutting single-use plastics, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office having already announced its intention to cut all avoidable single-use plastics from its UK operations by the end of this year, and from its global operations by 2020. The country aims to be a global leader in this area and will champion this cause at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit, to take place in September 2019.
What kind of funding has the UK contributed to climate efforts in the region?
In total, the UK will contribute £5.5bn to developing countries before 2020, to help them mitigate and adapt to the challenges of climate change, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will provide an additional £6m to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu from its Commonwealth Litter Programme.
Mark Field, minister for Asia and the Pacific, said that helping developing countries to tackle climate change is a vital element of Britain’s overall environmental strategy. Field said: “Climate change poses a clear and present danger to the people of the Pacific islands like nowhere else in the world… It is important our own representatives lead by example by cracking down on single-use plastics… We will be building on this by working much more closely with all the Pacific islands through our missions in the region in the coming years.”