“The Talanoa Dialogue is an effective way of getting countries around the world to raise their ambitions” – UK MP Claire Perry at the Opening of the London Stock Exchange

Transcript of the remarks given by Claire Perry, UK Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth at the opening of the London Stock Exchange on 18 April 2018. Edits have been made for clarity. 

Good morning, or how I have learned to learn, Bula vinaka!

Ladies and gentlemen, your Excellency, Mr. Chairman and others. It’s a really exciting, it’s possibly the most exciting market opening I think I’ve ever seen and it’s really important for three reasons.

The first is that as we have heard this is a real break through – a sovereign green bond issue by the first developing nation; the first country in the Southern Pacific; the first small island state; and, a bond that has already attracted the confidence of investors. I doubt there will be much trading in it. I think it will be a buy and hold investment because people are absolutely certain that both the bond will be repaid and also will want to be part of this regeneration process.

The second is that it is great to see the London Stock Exchange carrying on its global leadership in this area. You know we have a long and proud tradition, long before we had sci-fi movies at the market opening. London was the epicenter of the natural structuring of trading. Why? Because we had invested a confidence in this system; we had transparent rules of law; we had an excellent framework for this investment and we had lots and lots of people who knew how to get the best deals for investors and all those condition apply evermore today. And I’m confident that this will be the first of very many sovereign listings although I would hate to speak for the Chancellor in committing the UK Treasury to doing anything, but I have heard my marching orders.

But the third point is I just wanted to emphasise the incredible role that Fiji and this gentleman [PM Bainimarama] have played over the last year, not only in coming up with innovative financial structures that are robust enough to be launched on a global stock exchange, but in dealing with some of the most horrendous climate related events that the country has ever seen, as well as the challenges that we all face in terms of meeting the Millennial Development Goals and providing a high quality of life for citizens. And also leading COP23 through a time when the world is having to come to terms with the pledges we’ve made and actually deliver on targets that would help us meet those Paris agreement goals

The Prime Minster and I have met many times now over the past year. He is he is astonishing at getting out there and doing a thing like the Talanoa Dialogue, which I have also learned about, which is about listening to each other and effectively telling stories, of what life is like if you are in a small island state in a vulnerable part of the world, facing down the barrel of the effects of climate change. And I have to tell you it has been an incredibly effective way of getting countries around the world to raise their ambitions, to understand that this is a real threat. It’s not something we need to face 100 years from now, it’s something that’s happening now.

So, on behalf of the stock exchange and the British government and on behalf of the global community, thank you very much for your leadership and I’m hoping we can go from strength to strength, both with our financial relationships but also our relationship in solving this problem of climate change. Thank you very much.