A structured dialogue between Solomon Islands stakeholders, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and SPREP got underway in Honiara this morning. The dialogue seeks to assist stakeholders understand opportunities that exist with the GCF, provide a platform to exchange knowledge and experiences in accessing GCF through its diverse support programs and funding modalities, as well as provide clarity on value addition GCF has with respect to other partners who are also active in the country.
Delivering his keynote address to participating stakeholders from government ministries, multilateral agencies, NGOs and the private sector this morning, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Dr Melchior Mataki referenced the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report which states that global carbon emissions must fall by half by 2030 in order to keep global temperatures below 1.50C above pre-industrial levels. However, he said current global ambitions still fall short of the 1.50C target and this will have serious consequences for Solomon Islands and other vulnerable countries.
“We don’t have at our disposal the necessary level of financial resources, capacity and technologies to adequately address the adaptation and mitigation needs we have in the country. As such we need to access the necessary level of resources domestically and from international sources including GCF to address climate change”.
He further stated that the Solomon Island has so far benefited from the GCF through $US86 million of concessional and grant financing provided to the Tina River Hydropower Development Project. A number of other project proposals are still in the pipeline to GCF. However, we need to do more to address pressing and urgent adaptation needs such as the relocation of our communities in low lying atolls and artificial islands, as well as develop innovative climate investments such as the capitalization of carbon storage in our vast national ocean space.
The GCF is a financial mechanism setup under the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the aim to drive financial transformation to achieve low-carbon emission and climate resilience opportunities for developing countries particularly Least Developing Countries and Small Island Developing Countries of which the Solomon Islands is in both categories. Dr. Mataki said the 2-day structured dialogue will also help set the tone for innovative partnerships amongst stakeholders to overcome the climate change challenges facing us.
Dr Mataki spoke highly of the support Solomon Islands and the region has received from GCF, and also highlighted the challenges faced given the arduous processes and requirements to access resources from the GCF. These need to be reviewed to lessen the transaction burden on countries such as the Solomon Islands, which is already suffering from the impacts of climate change.
In conclusion, Dr Mataki reiterated that the “Solomon Islands welcomes and acknowledges with appreciation the support provided by the Green Climate Fund and its delivery partner for the first Solomon Islands GCF readiness project – SPREP, under which the national structured dialogue with GCF is taking place within”.