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Letter to Pacific Leaders ahead of inaugural Korea-Pacific Islands Summit

**Letter was sent to the Office of the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Palau, Samoa, the Republic of the Marshal Islands, the Cook Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia on 24 May 2023**

Dear Prime Minister, We are aware that Pacific Island nations will be represented in Seoul later this month at the inaugural Korea-Pacific Islands Summit. We understand that leaders will discuss ways to expand cooperation between South Korea and the region.

We are writing to ask you to use this opportunity to request that South Korea withdraw its financial and political support for fossil fuel projects in Australia. A report by South Korean-based Solutions for our climate found that the South Korean Government is spending about AUD 3.6 billion on upstream gas projects in Australia.

An example of this is the Barossa Gas project in Northern Australia. This project has been described as a “carbon bomb” and is one of the dirtiest gas fields in the world. With 18% carbon dioxide content, this gas field is at least twice as carbon-intensive than any other Australian offshore gas field in Australia. It has also been described by gas company Santos as the biggest oil and gas investment in Australia since 2012.

If the Barossa gas is extracted, developed and burned, it will release 15.6 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. As you are acutely aware, climate change poses an existential threat to Pacific Island nations.

With the International Energy Agency (IEA) publicly declaring that there can be no new coal, oil or gas projects if the global energy sector is to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and help avoid catastrophic climate change, it is critical that projects like Barossa Gas do not go ahead.

Therefore, we respectfully request that you take this opportunity to raise the issue with your South Korean counterparts when you have the opportunity later this month and ask that the South Korean Government withdraw all funding and support for the Barossa gas project.

Yours sincerely,

Pacific IslandsClimate Action Network

Kiribati Climate Action Network

Solomon IslandsClimate Action Network

Tuvalu Climate Action Network

Vanuatu Climate Action Network

Pacific Elders Voice

350 Pacific/Pacific Climate Warriors

Alliance for Future Generations (Fiji)

Diverse Voices and Action for Equality / Women DefendCommons Network Fiji

Greenpeace Australia Pacific

Pacific Conference of Churches

Pacific IslandsStudents Fighting ClimateChange


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