COP 26: the Pacific Community enhances access to climate finance in the Pacific

Noumea

On the occasion of COP 26, the Pacific Community (SPC) remains committed to addressing challenges related to accessing climate finance for Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs). While leaders and experts assert that PICTs are at the frontline of climate change, it remains difficult for PICTs to access climate finance and help the transition towards resilience and sustainability.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation have increasingly become a focus of public finance in the Pacific region. Over the last decades, Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) – mainly composed of low-lying islands – have become increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters and extreme weather events. This trend will not decrease as the region will face more intense tropical cyclones under future climate change scenarios, while Pacific islands’ shorelines may retreat by up to 40 metres by 2050.

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Pacific islands’ shorelines may retreat by up to 40 meters by 2050

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Climate adaptation efforts in the Pacific are critical, but costs are still substantial. Due to their expensive coastal protection infrastructure needs, public sector investment costs for adaptation are disproportionately high in PICTs. Another critical challenge is the very dispersed geography of PICTs, which further raise investment costs. Moreover, donors expect proposals to contain detailed climate change and socio-economic data. However, it is difficult and expensive to collect such data due to travel costs and other challenges.

To support its Member States in addressing the climate challenge, SPC is accredited to access multilateral climate funds such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Adaptation Fund. As one of nine Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies, SPC has helped to secure more than USD 75 million from the GCF and the Adaptation Fund for the Pacific. This includes the recent approval by the GCF of an SPC-supported project for the Federated States of Micronesia to the value of USD 16.6 million.

SPC also encourages PICTs to achieve the objectives of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) made under the Paris agreement. Through a partnership with GIZ, SPREP, and GGGIthe “Regional Pacific Nationally Determined Contributions Hub” (NDC Hub) was created to support countries in financing NDCs, as well as accessing permanent financial resources. To date, six countries (the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Nauru, Niue, Vanuatu, Tonga) have benefitted from SPC’s expertise to implement nature-based solutions for adaptation on a local scale.

While 2021 was the year of rescue and response, 2022 must be the year of deepening the foundations for a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery. SPC is committed to supporting Pacific countries to make their voices heard in climate change negotiations: climate finance is an essential lever to achieve this recovery.

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Division
Corporate
Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability (CCES) Programme
Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division

Author(s)

Maëva Tesan

Information, Communication and Knowledge Management Officer