NZ boosts climate funding for Pacific

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Picture: REUTERS/David Gray

NEW YORK, 26 SEPTEMBER 2018 (AAP) – New Zealand says it will stump up NZ$300 million (US$199 million) for global climate change work over four years as its government continues to press the need for a trans-Tasman focus on the Pacific.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been talking climate action at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week and on Tuesday announced a $NZ100 million (US$66 million) increase in her country’s commitment to the issue over four years.

The funding will go towards efforts in the Pacific such as helping Tokelau reduce the risk of coastal inundation and water security in the region.

“The challenge of climate change requires us to look beyond our domestic borders, and in New Zealand’s case towards the Pacific,” Ardern said.

The money comes out of a massive increase to New Zealand’s foreign aid budget in this year’s government budget.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters has since March made a push for stronger and rebuilt relationships with Pacific nations, as “non-traditional” powers increasingly gain influence in the strategically significant region.

On Tuesday, he reiterated that engagement with the region was “critical”.

“I would hope that the whole lot of politicians in all of Australasia, that’s New Zealand and Australia, get to appreciate with great clarity the world we are facing and have the courage to have the policies to meet it,” he told Sky.

“Rather than to give up or think this is some sort of game we can play on the sides with no consequences,” he said…. PACNEWS

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