The Australian High Commission will today host students from four Honiara high schools in the annual G’Day Solomon Islands Great Debate.

Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne said he was excited to hear young people’s perspectives on this year’s debate theme, climate change.

"Climate change is a complex issue facing every country and requires a strategic, creative and flexible response. Australia has committed around SB$5.8 billion to building climate change resilience and reducing emissions in developing countries over the next five years," said the High Commissioner.

"The Solomon Islands Government played a leading role in the global climate change negotiations last year in Paris, and it is important that youth are able to contribute to the discussion."

"I am looking forward to a robust and enlightening debate that helps these students to develop their confidence in public speaking and think critically about a difficult policy matter for their country and the global community."

Students will need to successfully defend their arguments in front of a crowd of politicians, government officials, business representatives and members of the public to take out the winning trophy.

Betikama and St Joseph’s Tenaru will debate whether adaptation is a better response to climate change than mitigation. St Nicholas College and Selwyn College will consider if small island states like Solomon Islands have a greater obligation to combat climate change than other countries.

The G’Day Solomon Islands Great Debate is a part of the Australian High Commission’s annual public diplomacy program and a stepping stone to regional debating competitions.

Press Release: Australian High Commission Office, Honiara