By Pita Ligaiula in Port Vila
A proposal to develop a regional climate finance strategy has been put forward to the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) for consideration and endorsement.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Climate Change Finance adviser, Exsley Taloiburi said the strategy would help the Pacific to structure and coordinate their efforts in how they engage and access global climate funding mechanisms, such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
“The main issue we face right now is that there is no structured or regional framework or climate finance. In the absence of a regional climate finance strategy, members are doing their own things without a regional climate finance strategy, CROP agencies and partners respond to individual country request in an adhoc and fragmented manner.
“One of the key recommendations we are also seeking Ministers support at this FEMM meeting is to give us the mandate to work with all climate finance actors in the Pacific to develop a regional strategy that would bring everybody together towards more coordinated and programmatic approach that would tap into the scale of funding that is going to give tangible results,” Taloiburi told regional journalists in Vanuatu.
He said there is an uneven distribution of climate finance in the Pacific and the move to create a regional climate finance strategy will enable the region to work collectively.
“Most of our countries are accessing this global climate fund individually and bilaterally. The implication of that is the scale of funding they able to tap into is quite small. How can we access this global funds at scale that is the key question and one of the options put forward to the Ministers is to consider multi-country- more pragmatic approaches so that we pull our efforts together and access big amounts of money that will result in transformational outcomes for the Pacific?
“All our countries have access the key global climate funds, the issue is the distribution across the Pacific is uneven – there are some countries that are doing very well and there are also some countries that are left behind. That is not the really in the spirit of 2050 strategy for the Blue Pacific continent where our leaders have a vision that all of us going forward together and not to leave one of our members behind,” he said.
Taloiburi said French territories of French Polynesia and New Caledonia are not accessing any climate fund.
He said the Pacific is the only region that is lagging behind in utilising funding that is available from Green Climate Fund.
“With our state of access to the GCF at the moment the Pacific is lagging behind all other regions in terms of fully utilising the programme funding that is earmarked for the Pacific. Caribbean, Africa are moving ahead of us. So, we are putting forward on the table how can we ensure that we access GCF and other global climate fund at scale.
“At the moment our countries are accessing funds buts its US$10 million – US$30 million. We are looking at maybe tapping on projects with the minimum of US$50 million if we work together, that’s the kind of scale that we are trying to promote at this meeting with that proposal to develop a regional climate finance strategy,” said Taloiburi.
The two days Forum Economic Minister Meeting starts today in Vanuatu.