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UN slow to spend on Pacific climate change

The New Zealand Government must push for more Pacific nations other than just the Cook Islands to be given support from the UN’s Green Climate Fund, Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio says.

 “Our Government must lead the charge to ensure all Pacific Island nations can easily access readiness support so they can use the Fund to strengthen their climate change capacity.

 “Every Pacific Island nation is under a clear and present threat from climate change and all need to build their ability to adapt. Our Government should be advocating for a much more simplified process for approving projects by the Green Climate Fund.

“What is the point of having US$6.8 billion ear-marked for climate change adaptation if the Pacific Island countries, who are fighting for their very survival, are struggling to access it. 

“The Cooks received $150,000 from the fund which was set up under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. That is fantastic work by the Cooks. 

“While the rest of the developed nations left the COP21 Paris meeting feeling proud of their commitments to reduce carbon emissions to 1.5 degrees, those commitments don’t come into effect till 2020. 

“This doesn’t benefit the peoples of the Pacific who are living and breathing climate change every day. 

“The Government should not be resting on its laurels after Paris, it should champion the needs of the Pacific Island nations who are at the frontline of this crisis. 

“Labour Leader Andrew Little and Labour MPs will be raising this issue with the Pacific community when they visit the Pasifika Festival in Auckland this Saturday,” says Su’a William Sio.