PM on climate funding hurdles

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Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka with the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Annalena Baerbock. Picture: FIJI GOVERNMENT

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has relayed challenges surrounding climate change funding during a bilateral working lunch with the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Olaf Scholz, and German Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock.

The meeting took place in New York ahead of the United Nations General Assembly, which Mr Rabuka is attending.

During the meeting, Mr Rabuka laid out funding hurdles such as excessive loans, insufficient grants, and the need to accelerate climate finance through innovative finance sources.

Mr Rabuka raised concerns about the accessibility and effectiveness of climate finance, and also raised concern on the lack of gender equality and locally led climate action initiatives.

A statement from Fiji Government also outlined the objective of this meeting was to facilitate an open roundtable discussion among Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to address subjects of mutual interest and the topics of focus included international climate policy, the upcoming COP28, financing challenges faced by SIDS, and the impending SIDS4 conference scheduled for 2024.

Mr Rabuka also expressed gratitude for Germany’s commitment to climate action with policies which included ambitious targets, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, phasing out coal for electricity generation, and promoting electric transportation.

He concurred with Germany’s call for reform within the United Nations, G20, and international financial institutions, and emphasised the vital role of international climate finance for communities and countries on the frontlines of climate change.

He also noted the shortfall in meeting the $100 billion per year commitment by developed countries and the need for accelerated climate action.

In addition, he spoke about investments in disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, climate mobility, and the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.