Climate finance priority remains essential for Pacific SIDS as 0.28 percent of the raised US$79.8 billion climate finance by wealthy and industrialised nations were allocated to PSIDS
Pacific Small Islands Developing States (PSIDS) continue to face capacity and resource challenges in accessing global climate funds.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Climate Change Finance Adviser, Pacific Islands Forums (PIFs), Exsley Taloiburi says climate finance remains the top priority for implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) commitments for Pacific countries.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in 2019 wealthy and industrialised nations were only able to raise US$79.8 billion of the promised US$100 billion committed in 2009. Of this amount, a small fraction, 1.9% was made available to Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
OECD says even a smaller percentage, 0.28% was allocated to Pacific SIDS.
“That’s quite concerning and further reaffirms that point that our region is facing a lot of challenges with the current structures, reporting templates, and modalities in terms of accessing global climate finance,” Taloiburi said.
“It’s critical to support our region in terms of implementing the NDCs commitments.”
Taloiburi said the cost of implementing NDC targets for Pacific SIDs ranges from a scale of US$200 million to US$3 billion per country up to 2030.
“Based on that, we could see the scale that is required is quite significant and therefore, governments alone will not be able to implement that, the role of the private sector is very important.
“A lot of the NDCs commitments from the Pacific are conditional on external support and therefore the role of development partners is very important in terms of the opportunities to increase access to permit finance and also ensure the effectiveness of funds that are being accessed,” he said.
Kiribati Climate Action Network (KirCAN) Pelenise Alofa agrees that accessing climate finance for adaptation and loss and damage remains a challenge for community organisations like KirCAN.
“We need money so that we can adapt. We need adaptation projects, but we do have a problem in the Pacific, it’s very hard to access those funds for us to finish our projects,” she said.
From her visits to communities in Kiribati, Alofa has observed that communities are suffering from the effects of climate change and are constantly seeking assistance from policymakers and NGOs to adapt and survive the climate crisis.
“We are all on the boat that is sinking right now…. as a community leader, working on the ground with the people, we hear them say to us, why are you spending all your time outside of Kiribati when we are suffering here when our lands have been eroded away. What are you people doing? Then I say I will get my young people to do the advocacy work. I will work with your people on the ground to make sure that you can adapt.
“We as a team of grassroots NGOs will work with you, the private sector will work with government to make sure that you can adapt, and can survive, and we make sure that we do not sink,” assured Alofa.
Dr Pa’olelei Luteru Fatumanava, Samoa’s Ambassador to the United Nations and PSIDS Focal Point highlighted the involvement of the private sector and additional resources.
“We’ve got to make sure that we are talking about additional real money. It is not about creative accounting by our development partners but about moving resources from one pocket, as far as Official Development Assistance (ODA) is concerned, to another pocket. This must be real money and an attempt at getting the private sector involved and providing those real additional resources is extremely important,” Ambassador Luteru said.
Reiterating the priorities on climate finance, Liz Pechan, the Country Officer of International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group said one possible funding opportunity for Pacific countries is the issuance of green bonds.
“There are opportunities in this space and IFC was one of the first to issue a green bond back in 2010,” Pechan said.
Green Bond Programme helps to catalyse the market and unlock investment for private sector projects that support renewable energy and energy efficiency.
“IFC also led the World Bank Group support for Fiji to become the first developing nation to issue a sovereign green bond to fund green resilient projects to help the institutions country adapt to the impacts of climate change.
“We are using tools such as blended finance and further leveraging our green and social bond programmes as well as mobilisation platforms, such as the manage co-lending portfolio programme to crowd investors integrated solutions,” she said.
Blended finance is the strategic use of development finance for the mobilisation of additional finance towards sustainable development in developing countries.
COP27 will be hosted by Egypt in Sharm El-Sheikh from 7 – 18 November 2022.