Minister Ley speech to the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021

26 January 2021

I’m Sussan Ley, Australia’s Minister for the Environment.

This Summit comes a year after the terrible black summer bushfires that affected many parts of Southeastern Australia.

Australia is a dry continent that has required our Indigenous communities to be resourceful in managing our precious natural resources. Our farmers have had to understand how to best use our precious water and river systems, and our ancient soils to support agricultural development.

Adapting to climate change requires a clear and practical strategy, so this year we will refresh our National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy to provide a roadmap for successful adaptation and resilience activities.

To date the Australian Government has committed more than $15 billion to natural resource management and the environment, water infrastructure, drought and disaster resilience and recovery.

We’ve put in place a range of practical measures to help our communities and biodiversity recover from last year’s fires, including $200 million to help native wildlife and their habitat recover from bushfires.

In July 2021, Australia will establish a National Resilience Relief and Recovery Agency as well as Climate and Resilience Services Australia to drive adaptation, enhance resilience and ensure effective relief and recovery from natural hazards.

We have also joined the Call for Action on Raising Ambition for Climate Adaptation and Resilience and the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment.

As part of our commitment to build a more climate resilient world, Australia has pledged new global finance of at least $1.5 billion over the period 2021 to 2025, a 50 per cent increase on the previous period.

We will continue to promote the work of the International Partnership for Blue Carbon and the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Partnership, which are invaluable hubs of international collaboration on the protection of coastal and inland forest ecosystems. 

We are deeply committed to working with the international community to accelerate adaptation to protect our planet.