30 Nov 2009

Academic questions New Zealand Government commitment to climate change fund

8:17 pm on 30 November 2009

A New Zealand academic is questioning his government's commitment to helping Pacific countries adapt to climate change.

Commonwealth leaders have announced a 10 billion US dollar fund to help developing countries adapt to climate change, 10 percent of which is earmarked for small island states.

But the Professor of Public Policy at Victoria University in Wellington, Jonathan Boston, says the New Zealand government does not appear to have discussed how it will pay its share of such funds.

He says the aid community is concerned existing aid funding will be redirected to give the appearance the government is meeting its international obligations.

"The question that the leaders of the small Pacific Island states will have for a country like New Zealand and Australia is how much are we prepared to increase our overseas development assistance, and is it going to be an increase that's a genuine recognition of our contribution to the problems of climate change adaptation that they are facing."

Jonathan Boston says European countries are further ahead in putting aside money for climate change.