The Australian delegation has used the conference to lobby for the rights to co-host the 2026 climate summit with Pacific nations. The bid received a boost when Switzerland, considered a potential rival, threw its support behind Australia.
Turkey has said it will launch a rival campaign, but the southern hemisphere is favoured. Bowen said the Australian-Pacific proposal had strong support, “including from some countries who we thought might bid against us”.
It has the support of the Pacific Islands Forum, though the Vanuatu climate minister, Ralph Regenvanu, told the Guardian his country’s backing for the bid was conditional on Australia not backing any more new fossil fuel subsidies.
Bowen said this would not be a problem because it was the government’s position.
“And that’s not new. [The resources minister] Madeleine King has said the same,” he said. “Now, there are people who have different definitions of fossil fuel subsidies but that’s not something that we are going to do.”
Bowen said his experience at Cop27 had reinforced that his job was “the most important job I’ve had and the most important job I’ll probably ever have because it is the most important issue in Australian politics most of the time. It’s the important challenge facing the world and here I am, dealing with it on behalf of the country, which is a great honour.”
He added: “There’s an old saying I like – it’s a little morbid – there are certain times in your life when you’re writing the first line of your obituary. This is what you’ll be remembered for, either success of failure. This is sort of in that territory.”