Forum Sec, Suva, 27 September 2021 – ‘Setting up structures and investment plans that are inclusive of the private sector are amongst key takeaways for officials attending a climate financing workshop last week.
Understanding government and national opportunities for private sector engagement was also part of the learning for participants at the Melanesia sub-regional workshop on climate change finance.
Co-hosted by the Government of Vanuatu, Vanuatu Business Resilience Council, and the Pacific Islands Forum the workshop looked at unlocking potential opportunities around climate financing, access to climate finance, and options for public-private partnership and investment. More than 60 participants attended from government and the private sector across Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, CROP agencies, development, and donor partners.
In his official opening address, Hon. Bruno Leignkone Tau, Vanuatu Minister of Climate Change, Energy, Environment, Meteorology & Geo-hazards, and Disaster Risk Management, emphasized the need to leverage funding capacity and know-how of the private sector to build climate resilience and reduce emission through innovative public private partnerships.
“The role of the private sector and their contribution to the economies of the Melanesia countries is important. The engagement of private sector in climate change financing will be a game changer, particularly towards strengthening countries mitigation efforts in this region, “George Hoa’au, Melanesian Spearhead Group, Acting Director General.
Reflecting on the onset of cascading hazards and disasters inclusive of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Filimon Manoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum stated, “these platforms are key to elevate discussions towards innovative resilience financing opportunities to support a recovery process that is climate-smart and resilient for sub-regions and individual nations.”
Participants recognized the key potential of the private sector as innovator and agent of change for possible cutting-edge solutions. Job creation, and sector growth were also key benefits from a collective approach towards resilient and sustainable development, impacted by climate change and COVID-19.
The workshop also identified next steps – partners to explore shared opportunities national private sector mapping on climate finance, potential support to implement priorities for those that have completed their mapping; ongoing public and private sector dialogue; capacity-building and information sharing.
This second Melanesia Sub-regional Private Sector Workshop was funded through the European Union’s Intra-ACP GCCA+ Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) Project. It recognised the strong foundation for collective approach through the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific and the Pacific Resilience Partnership to increase engagement with the private sector. The first workshop was hosted by Papua New Guinea in 2018 and supported by the USAID Climate Ready Project. —ENDS/Imagecredit: R.Willie, VanuatuGOV