New Zealand has handed hundreds of millions of dollars towards efforts to fight climate mitigation in the Pacific.
The direct funding for 2022 until 2025 from the New Zealand government is a small part of a greater global commitment from developed countries to the underdeveloped world.
Nearly $US1 billion was announced in Wellington for the climate aid package of which half has been directly assigned to help avoid and reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the Pacific atmosphere so to prevent the planet from warming to more extreme temperatures.
New Zealand had previously handed over $US215 million to tackle the growing climate change crisis.
Cook Islands prime minister Mark Brown has lauded the generosity of its free association partner.
“It is welcome news from New Zealand and aligns well with the call from the Pacific for ambitious action to build resilience and adaptation measures desperately needed by small island developing states,” he said in a statement
“I am particularly pleased with intentions that at least half of that funding will be for Pacific Island countries – and that’s a demonstration that New Zealand is aligned with its values as part of our blue Pacific.
“Adaptation is of critical importance to the Cook Islands and all small Island states.”
Brown said at the Pacific Islands Forum that New Zealand’s assistance should inspire a “wave of like-minded support from the world’s wealthy developed countries” ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow next week.
G20 nations have often been accused of turning their backs on suffering island nations from climate change problems that the industrialised world has created.
“It is also about innovative financing modalities that allow small island states, many of whom are already debt distressed, to access financing at zero per cent interest and with 100 years amortization,” he said.
“Climate change will not disappear over the period of a normal loan of 10 to 20 years, but much more longer term – that is why we have to look at financing modalities that reflect that timespan.”
“A real commitment by all countries to $100 billion annually to assist adaptation measures is an absolute necessity for the short term.
“This represents 0.1 per cent of global GDP, a relatively modest price to pay today.”