The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.
“The second State of the Environment Report for Oceania by Caritas highlights that ‘neither New Zealand nor Australia are halfway yet to reaching commitments made in the 1970s.’
“The Catholic Church’s Agency for Justice, Peace and Development says the 0.7 per cent target was set under the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We don’t even know where this Government sits on working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals launched in 2015 which New Zealand and the United Nations signed up to and are committed to achieving.
“While Mr Key and his Government have said New Zealand would provide up to $200 million for climate-related support over the next four years, the majority of which will benefit Pacific nations, the report spells out this ‘potentially represents a drop in climate finance, relative to the previous two years.’
“Caritas says the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated to them that ‘the climate-related expenditure for the year ending June 2016 is approximately $44.6 million.’
“This compares with an example in the report of ‘New Zealand allocating about NZ$255 million a year over the next five and a half years to the Waterview urban motorway connection in Auckland. This encourages more cars, and potentially higher carbon emissions.’
“The report also reaffirms the struggles of hunger and thirst for clean water experienced by a growing number of Pacific people as a consequence of climate change effects. This is what I saw on the ground when I visited Tuvalu and Kiribati on my climate change fact-finding mission in March,” says Su’a William Sio.