New Zealand pledges support for climate adaptation fund

New Zealand pledges support for climate adaptation fund | Insurance Business New Zealand

New Zealand pledges support for climate adaptation fund

The New Zealand government has announced a $15 million commitment to the Adaptation Fund, as Climate Change Minister James Shaw attends COP27 in Egypt. However, climate activists have criticised the move.

“Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to supporting those countries and communities that have the fewest resources to respond and to recover from the impacts of the climate crisis,” Shaw said. “That is why at least half of this government’s $1.3 billion climate finance package will be targeted at projects that support climate resilience, especially in the Pacific.

“Most of our support is allocated by working directly with countries. Working in this way means we can prioritise support where it is needed most in the Pacific. What I am announcing today will complement this targeted work by boosting a global fund dedicated to helping countries adapt to the impact of the climate crisis.”

The contribution to the Adaptation Fund is the second funding announcement made by the government around COP27. Last week, the government said it would set aside $20 million of dedicated finance for loss and damage. Both are allocations from the $1.3 billion climate finance commitment for 2022-2025.

“Last year, at COP26 in Glasgow, rich, polluting countries were urged to double adaptation finance over 2019 levels by 2025,” Shaw said. “Aotearoa New Zealand is stepping up to meet this challenge.”

Despite the announcement, New Zealand opposed a central fund during negotiations at COP27, earning criticism from climate activists – with Climate Action Network International giving New Zealand the “Fossil of the Day” award, the NZ Herald reported.

The group called New Zealand’s actions a “shameful about-face exposing their true allegiances – with other laggard-rich nations.”

Oxfam in the Pacific also expressed disappointment at New Zealand’s announcement of the $20 million package, saying that it was not new funding and was instead taken from existing budget allocations.

“It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul – we need new and additional funding from our neighbours to fight this crisis,” said George Koran, Oxfam in the Pacific project coordinator for Vanuatu.

In response to the criticism, Shaw said that it is more important to make sure more developed countries are on board with providing assistance before moving to establish a central mechanism.

“Our focus now should be on getting more rich nations to make financial commitments,” Shaw said. “We want to make sure we don’t foreclose any options on the precise arrangements for how loss and damage funding is delivered, as small countries like those in the Pacific can find working with the large global funds quite difficult and frustrating.”