Save the Children welcomes the Australian Government’s $150 million climate finance commitment to Pacific countries but said a much greater contribution is necessary to support vulnerable communities facing the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
In a statement released overnight, the Australian Government announced that it would contribute a foundational $100 million to the Pacific Resilience Facility based at the Forum, a trust fund to invest in climate and disaster resilience projects, and $50 million for the Green Climate Fund, the world’s largest climate financing mechanism.
The leading child rights charity welcomes the formal recommitment to the Green Climate Fund after Australia rejoined the fund but said a pledge of at least $400 million is required to place Australia in line with other donors.
Save the Children Australia CEO Mat Tinkler said today’s contribution is a good start, but much more will be needed to help protect the lives and wellbeing of Pacific children.
“This contribution, a formal recommitment to the Green Climate Fund, is welcome but it is just a fraction of what is needed to ensure we’re contributing our fair share, especially after five years of contributing nothing,” he said.
“For decades the Pacific, home to some of the most disaster-prone and climate-vulnerable countries in the world, has been warning us of the perils of the climate crisis, with sea levels continuing to rise and destructive cyclones occurring more frequently with devastating effects on children.
“Save the Children welcomes the opportunity to engage with the Pacific Resilience Facility to ensure funds meets the needs of the most vulnerable communities.”
While Save the Children welcomes the Australian Government’s commitment to Pacific climate finance, it urges the government to also contribute at least $100 million to the newly created Loss and Damage Fund, which would support the nations most vulnerable to and impacted by the climate crisis.
“If Australia is serious about supporting our closest neighbours and friends, we must increase our climate finance contributions to them directly and also to the newly created Loss and Damage Fund,” Mr Tinkler said.
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Notes to Editors:
- The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the world’s largest dedicated climate fund. GCF’s mandate is to foster a paradigm shift towards low emission, climate resilient development pathways in developing countries. GCF has a portfolio of projects and programs across more than 100 countries. It also has a readiness support programme to build capacity and help countries develop long-term plans to fight climate change. The GCF is an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and serves the 2015 Paris Agreement, supporting the goal of keeping average global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius.
- Save the Children Australia in 2019 became the first humanitarian NGO to be accredited by the GCF, allowing the agency to partner with developing countries and apply for project funding. Save the Children and GCF, in partnership with national governments, have since launched major climate resilience and adaption projects in Lao PDR in November 2023, Solomon Islands in July 2023, and Vanuatu in May 2022.
- Save the Children Australia has long been a leader in climate change programming for the global Save the Children movement and leverages its significant global network of specialist technical advisers working in climate change, disaster risk reduction, health, water and sanitation, livelihoods, agriculture, and food security to develop and deliver climate programs.