Government builds on climate change focus in Pacific

Climate Change Foreign Affairs
  • Boost in climate finance support to help develop and improve communities’ climate adaptation plans and projects
  • 80 percent of Solomon Islands population live in rural, low-lying coastal communities, and are heavily reliant on services delivered by provincial governments, churches, and civil society
  • Aimed to support local providers delivering locally-led plans and projects

Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni today reinforced Aotearoa New Zealand’s commitment to tackling the threat of climate change together in the Pacific, announcing support for practical climate action in the Solomon Islands.

“Climate change is a global challenge that requires global and collective action. That’s why we’re stepping up to provide climate finance to support provincial governments to build climate resilience at the grassroots,” Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.

“At the heart of this Mission and our shared focus as a Pacific region, is the importance of supporting local and indigenous-led solutions to support effective climate action. This support delivers on that and doubles down on our focus to tackle the threat of climate change in the Pacific,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Empowering provincial governments to integrate climate change resilience and adaptation into their planning, and to access additional sources of climate finance to respond and adapt to climate change at the community-level, is a priority of the Solomon Islands Government.

“We’ve listened to Pacific leaders, and they’ve told us they want their people to live in their countries for as long as possible, and to retain their social and cultural identity. Today’s announcement is also an immensely practical investment in building climate resilience in the region,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“As well as taking action to cut emissions, our Government is supporting our Pacific neighbours to adapt to the effects of the climate crisis we cannot avoid,” Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said.

“The majority of Solomon Islanders live in rural, low-lying coastal areas of the country, where provincial governments, churches and other community groups deliver essential services. These communities are among those on the frontline of the climate crisis — but are those who have contributed the least to climate change.

“Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to ensuring the response to the climate crisis is inclusive and supportive of local leadership. The initiative will support communities’ right across Solomon Islands to build a resilient, prosperous future using solutions that are right for them,” James Shaw said.

This funding, through the Local Climate Adaptive Living (LoCAL) Facility designed by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), builds opportunities for climate action right where it is needed most.

LoCAL builds on the existing Solomon Islands Provincial Capacity Development Fund by providing performance-based climate resilience grants to cover costs of adapting to climate change — particularly small projects at local level that reach the people who need help the most, such as women and youth.

“We also welcome the opportunity this creates for others to invest in Solomon Islands provincial government programmes to respond to climate change,” James Shaw said.

Aotearoa New Zealand have committed NZ$15 million of climate finance, which will go directly into the existing Solomon Islands Provincial Capacity Development Fund. This fund provides support to develop and improve climate adaptation plans and manage climate adaptation projects at a local level.