Climate advocates are urging the Pacific Islands Forum to exercise caution in considering Saudi Arabia’s climate financing commitment.

Saudi Arabia pledged US$50 million making it one of the first donors for the newly established Pacific Resilience Facility(PRF).

Saudi Arabia is currently the largest exporter of petroleum in the world.

Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) Regional Coordinator Lavetanalagi Seru is calling on Saudi Arabia to consider minimising its fossil fuel industry.

“If they are not addressing the issue at the source or root cause of the climate crisis, which is the expansion of the fossil fuel industry, the governments’ providing subsidies and tax breaks to national oil, gas, and coal companies will worsen the impact of the climate crisis.”

Seru said the facility will be a game-changer for green climate financing in the region.

“The leaders’ initiative to set up the Pacific Resilience Facility is one that’s welcomed by Pacific Civil Society, in particular the Pacific Climate Network, noting the cumbersome process that our governments have to go through to access much-needed climate finance from some of the multilateral finance mechanisms, including the green climate fund, the adaptation fund, and other multilateral development banks.”

Pacific Island Forum Chair and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown said the Pacific Resilience Facility was initiated six years ago and is the first Pacific-led, member-owned, and managed community resilience financing facility.

“And it’s designed in a way to make access to financing for resilience and building simpler and more accessible, particularly for Pacific countries. So that’s a big success that we’ve achieved. We’ll be now looking to take this particular facility out to potential donors and contributors to this fund.”

This establishment will depend on financial contributions from donor partners, who can invest in it to tackle climate-related issues in the Pacific and make its resources accessible.