Climate finance for the most vulnerable woefully inadequate

climate finance

Leaders from the Oceania region have gathered in Wellington for the launch of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand’s fifth State of the Environment report for Oceania, Waters of Life, Oceans of Mercy, which was released on St Francis Day, 4 October.

Participants have come from many parts of the Pacific region – Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa, New Caledonia, Caroline Islands, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand.

“Our assessment of climate finance for the most vulnerable has shifted the dial to ‘woefully inadequate’,” says Caritas Director, Julianne Hickey.

She said climate finance must not impose further foreign debt and burden on Pacific peoples.

“It must support a just transition that promotes capacity building and technology transfer.”

Caritas is calling for an integrated approach to tackling climate change that prioritises the needs of the poor.

The call comes ahead of the release of a Special Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.[1]

Hickey said five years of Caritas reports on environmental change in Oceania demonstrates that climate change is happening here and now.

“People have already died in the struggle against climate change,” she said.

“Many communities have been feeling the impact of extreme and violent weather patterns, or the slow encroachment of the sea for several decades.”

The poorest people in the Pacific are on the front lines – those on coastal edges, and those reliant on subsistence supplies.

“For us in Oceania, the 1.5 target is an imperative for survival.”

Hickey also said there is a need to face the reality that displacement is happening; often unplanned, uncoordinated and unsupported by local and national governments and other relevant agencies.

She said relocation is always a last resort because the spirituality, identity and wellbeing of many Oceania peoples are tied up with the land and oceans of their ancestors.

“That is why global climate finance –must benefit people on the frontline of harm.”

Click here to download a PDF of the Report (scroll down)



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