Climate change financing complicated

Rarotonga, Cook Islands– Climate change financing is complicated and significant capacity is needed by Forum island countries (FICs) to access and effectively manage sources of funding.

Sources of climate financing are wide ranging for FICs – from bilateral donor sources, financing institutions such as banks, and global climate change funds.

The Forum Secretariat’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and Coordination, Su’a Kevin Thomsen told a session on “Climate Change Financing – the Pacific Perspective” at the 2012 Pacific Islands News Association(PINA) – Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) Forum Regional Media Workshop held in Rarotonga, 24 – 25 August, that “climate change financing and our countries ability to access and utilise effectively is a critical part of our countries’ ability to effectively respond to climate change.”

“It is not about cashing in on an opportunity to make a new buck, but rather, ensuring that our countries have adequate resources to help them adapt to a very serious, unpredictable and long term challenge,” said Mr Thomsen.

He explained that last year the Secretariat produced an Options Paper outlining a number of options for modalities to effectively access and the management of climate change financing for Pacific island countries.

Since then a number of preferences have been discussed and explored including: following aid effectiveness principles, budget support, trust fund arrangements, use of national development banks, tailored capacity support and improved access to global climate change funds.

“To advance this work, Forum Leaders tasked the Secretariat to set out the detail of how the national and regional options could work in practice taking into account the specific capacities and needs of respective countries,” Mr Thomsen said. To respond, the Forum Secretariat is coordinating a multi-tiered approach, which includes:
• Strengthening agencies of the Council of Regional Organisations for the Pacific (CROP) collaboration on climate change;
• Documenting a range of relevant experiences in the region;
• Developing a comprehensive assessment process for Forum island countries to assist in identifying the optimal mix of climate change financing modalities, being explored through a case study in Nauru;
• Contributing to a community of practice on climate change financing;
• Developing a regional support mechanism and associated rapid respond fund; and
• Continued support for accessing global climate funds.

Mr Thomsen acknowledged that the task of securing climate change financing for the FICs is a considerable one requiring coordination and input from a number of stakeholders.

“I acknowledge the FICs themselves who have played a key role in progressing this issue on many fronts, as well as our fellow CROP organizations in particular the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community(SPC), other agencies such as UNDP, the World Bank and ADB, and Australia and the European Union.”

ENDS.

For media enquiries, contact Mr Johnson Honimae, the Forum Secretariat’s Media Officer on phone 682 70945 or email: johnsonh@forumsec.org.fj

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