While the $1.3 billion in grants handed out by the Green Climate Fund to the Pacific is a welcome step, it is still a matter of disappointment that the process for accessing this climate funding is still so difficult, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific climate change Su’a William Sio.
“If the most vulnerable Pacific nations are not able to access the funding they so desperately need, easier access must be addressed. What's the point of having climate funding if the countries that need it the most can't get it.
“When I was in Kiribati I saw for myself the squatter villages on South Tarawa who were forced to abandon their outer island homes due to climate change.
“Tuvalu's population on the mainland Funafuti had risen from 2000 to 6000 as a result of a migration of people from the outer islands displaced by climate change in the past decade.
“The GCF and International community must be open to projects around climate change refugees and accept a greater sense of urgency is needed.
“President-elect Trump may not believe this, but it would be a disaster for the Pacific and the wider world if he doesn't accept the overwhelming scientific evidence and reneges on the American commitment to the Green Climate Fund.
“It's important for him to see for himself what is happening in the Pacific and that is why I've suggested he should visit Tuvalu, Kiribati and Tokelau and see the reality of climate change for himself ,” says Su’a William Sio.