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PM Calls For Urgent Focus On Climate Adaptation Fund

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says access to adaptation finance is a critical priority for climate vulnerable nations everywhere. Speaking at COP24, Katowice, Poland, he said: “And I want to again
13 Dec 2018 10:18
PM Calls For Urgent Focus On Climate Adaptation Fund
COP23 President and Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama ( left) in discussions with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) executive secretary, Patricia Espinosa. Photo: DEPTFO NEWS

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says access to adaptation finance is a critical priority for climate vulnerable nations everywhere.

Speaking at COP24, Katowice, Poland, he said: “And I want to again add Fiji’s voice to the call to urgently scale up that access and give this issue a greater focus.”

Mr Bainimarama returned to Katowice after his Middle East tour to visit Fijian peacekeepers.

He spoke at the Adaptation Fund Contributor Dialogue and Reflections from Developing Countries.

Mr Bainimarama said the Fund had been successful in harnessing innovative means to mobilise climate finance and had successfully undertaken a range of projects in vulnerable countries such as Fiji.

But he said: “We can all agree that we need to summon the political will to do a lot more than we have, given the escalating nature of the climate threat.”

He said he hoped they could see a clear move in that direction at COP24.

As COP23 President, he said Fiji was pleased to oversee the historic decision that the Adaptation Fund “shall” serve the Paris Agreement.

“But we need more ambition to make climate finance available to meet the goals of the Agreement, just as we need more ambition in our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to meet the 1.5 degree warming target,” he said.

“And the world must make it a particular priority to free up the finance needed by the climate vulnerable to boost adaptation and resilience measures under their NDCs.”

In common with many other nations, Mr Bainimarama said Fiji was having to adjust to a frightening new era of extreme weather events, rising seas and changes to agriculture “that threaten every sector of our economy and are putting our development at great risk.”

“Last year, we were fortunate that the Adaptation Fund Board approved a project in Fiji for adaptation and resilience building in informal urban settlements along riverbanks and coastal land.

“These settlements – without the protection of our stronger building codes – are especially vulnerable.”

He said more than US$4.2 million was allocated for the project with UN-Habitat.

He thanked the Fund and all those committed to the success of this project.

But, he said: “Friends, we must all come to the collective realisation that many more projects like this remain to be funded, not just in Fiji, but all around the world.”

He said in Bonn in May, they increased the pool of finance available for this purpose and ensured that it actually flowed to those communities in need.

He said they must also ensure that public finance leveraged private finance for adaptation and that the conditions existed for private sector investment to flow in a way that allowed rapid transformation of our countries in line with our NDCs.

“Because all around us is evidence that the threat to the peoples and economies of vulnerable nations is increasing year by year.” Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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