The 1st Exchange was raised by Dr. Peter King on 11 September 2013 to engage the climate change finance community in Asia and the Pacific. The Exchange period lasted two weeks (11-25 September 2013).
Dr. Peter King is the Senior Policy Advisor at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) Regional Centre based in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 1st Exchange Series
Topic: Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership - A Climate Financing Perspective
E-Discussion period: 11.09.2013 - 25.09.2013
E-Discussion Launch Email
Posted on 11 September 2013
Dear ADAPT Asia-Pacific colleagues and friends,
My name is Peter King and as Team Leader, Adaptation Project Preparation and Finance for the USAID-funded ADAPT Asia-Pacific project, I have been closely following the issue of climate finance, particularly as it relates to the Pacific region and the recent conclusion of the 44th Pacific Islands Forum and related meetings in Majuro, the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
For the Pacific’s Small Island Developing States, climate change is not a future issue—it is an imminent crisis. Forum Leaders emphasized this in the 2013 Forum Communique and endorsed the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership. I hope this effort to “spark a new wave of climate leadership” can bring a greater sense of urgency in the current UN climate talks and reinvigorate the negotiations which seem to proceed at snail’s pace.
Forum Economic Ministers stressed the urgent need for financing to effectively respond to climate change at the August 2013 Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) in Tonga. Ministers urged the Pacific to strengthen access to, and management of, climate change finance, describing this as critical for vulnerable Pacific Island Countries.
One of the ways to do this is for development partners to simplify criteria and processes for accessing climate change financing, which Forum Leaders had urged. The other is for them to use the Pacific Island Countries’ national systems to disburse climate change funds, as outlined in the 2013 Forum Communique and the Forum Economic Ministers Action Plan.
As a former Director of the Pacific Region for the Asian Development Bank (ADB), I have had the privilege of meeting with many of the leaders in this region. They know that climate change is a survival issue for many of the low-lying atoll countries and potentially damaging for the bulk of the population living in the coastal zones and for food security as the coral reef ecosystems are damaged by increasing sea temperatures and ocean acidification.
They are frustrated that the rest of the world is not approaching the overwhelming need for additional climate finance with the urgency that they experience every day. So here are some of the questions we need to explore in helping the Pacific leaders to stand tall in global climate change negotiations and achieve lasting solutions for their threatened populations.
- How should Pacific Island governments take even greater leadership and boost confidence among development partners?
- Are there any successes (or even failures) of leadership that we can learn from, as this is not the first crisis facing these countries?
- In practical terms, what are the best ways for Pacific Island countries to increase “country readiness” to not only extract additional financial resources but to ensure that all funds received are used in an optimal manner?
I look forward to hearing your views.
Dr. Peter N. King
Adaptation Project Preparation and Finance