News Update

Australian PM announces new Pacific climate fund

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday announced a new climate change funding to protect Pacific communities. Morrison committed 500 million Australian dollars (337.5 million U.S. dollars) over five years from 2020 to the initiative, saying that his government recognized the specific challenges posed to the Pacific by climate change.

He said in a statement that the full details of the package would be revealed when he attends a meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu this week.

“The Pacific is our home, which we share as a family of nations. We’re here to work with our Pacific partners to confront the potential challenges they face in the years ahead,” the PM said in a statement.

“The 500 million AUD we’re investing for the Pacific’s renewable energy and its climate change and disaster resilience builds on the 300 million AUD (202.5 million USD) for 2016-2020. This highlights our commitment to not just meeting our emissions reduction obligations at home but supporting our neighbours and friends,” he said.

It came one day after Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama called on Australia to end its reliance on coal, describing climate change an “existential threat” to island nations, according to The Australian report.

Marise Payne, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, said on Tuesday that the new package aligned with Morrison’s Pacific step-up, an initiative aimed at increasing Australia’s presence in the region.

“The funding will continue projects that have meant school children can be safer in their school buildings, farmers and business people can have more assured access to markets and households can have cheaper and more reliable renewable energy,” she said.