EU Supports Climate Adaptation, Sustainable Energy in Pacific Island Countries
27 February 2014: The EU has signed a financing agreement with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) to strengthen Pacific island countries' capacity to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change, as well as to enhance their energy security at national, provincial and local levels.
Under the agreement, the EU will contribute €35.5 million to the €37.26 million Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (ACSE) programme, which aims to: create and strengthen national technical expertise on climate change adaptation and sustainable energy; improve cost-effective and efficient energy systems to reduce fossil fuels dependency; and enhance communities' adaptive capacity to cope with climate change challenges.
The programme also aims to enhance sustainable livelihoods by, inter alia: improving communities' access to energy; securing their daily water supply; and enhancing their ability to cope with the effects of climate change through appropriate agricultural and fishery practices. The EU will implement the programme alongside the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), the Government of New Zealand, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
Dirk Meganck, European Commission, signed the agreement on behalf of the EU, underscoring that “Climate change adaptation and sustainable energy are in the core of EU's support towards the Pacific countries.” Tuiloma Neroni Slade, PIFS Secretary-General, welcomed the EU's commitment, and reiterated Forum leaders' affirmation “of the dangers of climate change—to the livelihoods, security and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific.”
Fifteen Pacific countries are part of the ACSE programme: the Cook Islands, East-Timor, Fiji, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. [Joint EU and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Press Release]