14 Jun 2017

Climate and aid funding work best together, says NZ

2:06 pm on 14 June 2017

Funding climate change-related activities through the existing aid budget is the most sensible way to tackle the issue, says the NZ government.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's assertion follows a call from non-government organisations for climate change funding to be separated from traditional aid funding.

Greenhouse gas emissions: vehicle, agriculture, electricity.

Photo: RNZ

The director of the Council for International Development said New Zealand should not be funding the commitments it makes on climate change in international forums through the existing Official Development Assistance.

Josie Pagani said this could take money away from important projects and intitiatives already being carried out in the region.

But a statement from the ministry said climate-related support was an increasing part of a growing aid budget.

It said integrating climate change and resilience building across the work of the aid programme was a sensible way to work and was in keeping with best international practice.

According to the Ministry, it also reduced the burden of reporting on Pacific countries.

John Key at COP21

John Key at COP21 Photo: AFP

At COP 21 in December 2015, then-Prime Minister John Key announced that New Zealand would provide up to $US144 million for climate-related support over the next four years.

The majority of this would benefit Pacific nations.

The ministry said it was delivering on this commitment: for the financial year ending 30 June 2016, New Zealand provided about $US32 million in climate-related support.

It said New Zealand also provided core funding support to regional and multilateral agencies for whom climate change was integral to their strategic plans and approaches, primarily the UN development agencies and the International Financial Institutions.

New Zealand has also been a long-time supporter of the Global Environment Facility.

View of tidal inlet

Temaiku Bight - part of the area which could be reclaimed if a NZ Aid project goes ahead. Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell

In 2015, New Zealand also contributed US$2.2 million to the initial resource mobilisation of the Green Climate Fund.

New Zealand is also implementing a targeted programme of support aimed at improving Pacific Island countries' ability to access climate finance through its "Technical Assistance for Pacific Access" programme.