Foreign Minister Winston Peters is in Japan for the Foreign Ministers' meeting of the G20 grouping of countries as one of nine "invited" countries. He has used the opportunity to cast a spotlight on the plight of Pacific countries, calling out countries which still offered subsidies or Government assistance to fossil fuel industries.
"This must be a global priority. We cannot continue to subsidise the climate change we seek to avert,” Minister Peters said.
The G20 has resolved to phase out subsidises for fossil fuels, but many countries in it continue to support the sectors - including Australia with coal mining.
Minister Peters said Pacific countries had called for urgent action on this and New Zealand was part of the effort to make it happen.
He put in a plea for the large countries not to forget the small countries, such as the Pacific Islands.
"Pacific Islands countries manage the world's largest oceans, and they are on the front lines of the impacts of global climate change,” Minister Peters said.
“For some it is an existential threat to their very survival. Yet because Pacific Island countries have small populations and are geographically remote, their perspective is rarely heard at the G20."
Minister Peters also spoke during a session on trade, including the reform of the World Trade Organization. He said the scale of restrictive practices was "unprecedented" through both tariff and subsidies for domestic industries, including agriculture, making it hard for exporters.