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NZ committed to addressing Pacific climate change

John Key

3 September, 2013

NZ committed to addressing Pacific climate change

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the climate change focus of the Pacific Islands Forum, and restated New Zealand’s commitment to working with its Pacific neighbours to help them build more climate-resilient, sustainable economies.

“Climate change is a concern for Pacific countries and New Zealand is firmly committed to helping its closest neighbours adapt to and mitigate its impacts,” Mr Key says.

“Our total climate-related support will be more than $80 million over the next three years, including the $65 million for renewable energy initiatives, as announced at the Pacific Energy Summit in March.

“On top of that, our support will focus on areas like developing water infrastructure, and investing in clean and efficient energy generation. This will have positive environmental impacts, but it will also help Pacific countries develop more robust economies by reducing their reliance on expensive imported diesel.

“Over the past three years, we have invested $48 million in our region to address climate change through practical initiatives to help communities and infrastructure be better prepared for extreme weather-related events,” Mr Key says.

“We’ve built cyclone shelters in the Northern Cooks, supported rainwater harvesting in Kiribati, Tokelau and Tuvalu, and funded a monthly climate forecasting bulletin for all Pacific countries.

“We have already achieved great results working with Pacific governments on renewable energy. For example, our support has allowed Tokelau to now generate 90 per cent of its electricity from solar power, and we have also backed the Maama Mai solar facility in Tonga, one of the largest in the Pacific.”

Mr Key says New Zealand continues to work closely with international partners to improve the Pacific’s access to climate finance, including from the private sector.
“At home and abroad, the Government is doing its fair share to address global climate change. We have set a target to reduce our emissions to 5 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. This target is ambitious and goes beyond what we committed to under the first stage of the Kyoto Protocol.

“We have also launched the Global Research Alliance, and have committed $45 million to research ways to grow more food without growing greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Key is in the Marshall Islands for the 44th Pacific Islands Forum. He returns to New Zealand on Friday.


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