Climate change money not reaching SIDS

UNITED NATIONS, New York, September 26, 2007 – Money is “urgently” need to implement projects at the national level if developing countries are to successfully mitigate or adapt to the projected impacts of global climate change, said Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda.

The prime minister told a high level meeting on climate change at the United Nations that small island developing states (SIDS), in which most of the world’s wealth in biodiversity exists, are under threat from climate change. These include rising sea level, warmer ocean temperatures which will kill coral reefs and destruction of other coastal ecosystems.

He said that for SIDS to cope with the problem there was an “urgent” need for “improved access” to international financing.

“The greatest need for financing is at the level of implementation nationally. It’s one thing to set up a fund, but another for the monies to reach projects that make an impact in the country. The latter is not happening enough to make a difference. Simply put, if we are to implement national climate change action plans it requires money, technical assistance and training and educating our own local people on strategies for dealing with climate change,” he told the plenary discussion on finance.

“Financing mechanisms such as the Global Environment Facility and adaptation funds should prioritize the implementation of projects in our countries as opposed to writing reports and other consultation exercises,” he added.

The prime minister also said there was a link between climate change and natural disasters and argued that funds were also needed to invest in disaster mitigation measures.