5 May 2016

Aid agency disappointed in Australia's climate funding

1:40 pm on 5 May 2016

An aid agency says the level of funding for climate change in the Australian budget is very disappointing.

The Australian Government's latest budget included 12 million US dollars in funding for Fiji in response to Cyclone Winston.

But Oxfam Australia spokesperson, Joy Kyriacou said while the Pacific was one of the region's most vulnerable to climate change, there wasn't an increase in aid funding to tackle the issue in the government's latest budget.

"We need funding into community level adaptation and mitigation. Basically what that means is helping communities to be ready to be prepared in order to react and save lives when disasters hit," she said.

Tebikenikora, a village in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati. September 5 2011

Locals in Tebikenikora, a village in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the area in 2011 to discuss villagers’ concerns about the effects of climate change on their low-lying land. Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Ms Kyriacou said Australia was spending nowhere near what it needed to on climate change to meet its commitments in the Paris climate agreement forged late last year.

Meanwhile, Australia has promised to help Pacific nations access money from the Green Climate Fund.

Australia is the co-chair of the fund, which was founded under the United Nations climate change convention, to assist developing countries with adaptation and mitigation.

Australia says it has formed a 1.7 million US dollar partnership with German aid agency, GIZ, to help Pacific Island countries better access and manage global climate finance.

Tuvalu's Finance Minister Maatia Toafa has been critical of the way 10 million US dollars of green climate funds allocated for his country has been spent.

He said the funding has gone to an outside agency that was helping to develop an adaptation plan, rather than directly addressing the impacts of climate change for people.

Mr Toafa said Pacific countries look forward to Australia helping them get some share of the green climate funds.

Funafuti's oceanside shoreline, Tuvalu

Funafuti's oceanside shoreline, Tuvalu Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

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