25 Sep 2018

PM announces increase in climate change funding for Pacific

8:22 am on 25 September 2018

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a boost in funding for Pacific countries to help them adapt to climate change.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres greets Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the United Nations in New York 23 Sept 2018.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the UN in New York. Photo: AFP

Ms Ardern is pledging $300 million in climate-related assistance over four years, an increase of $100 million.

The prime minister made the announcement in New York where she is attending for the United Nations General Assembly this week along with about 140 other world leaders.

Action on climate change is high on her agenda.

In a speech to the Climate Week conference she said climate change posed a security threat to vulnerable nations including New Zealand's Pacific neighbours.

Ms Ardern said it challenged international legal frameworks.

The extra money will go to projects such as reducing the risk of coastal flooding in Tokelau, storing rainwater in Kiribati and strengthening water security across the region.

The money comes from overseas aid funds which were increased by nearly 30 percent in May's Budget.

The Kiribati capital and most populated area, South Tarawa, consists of several islets, connected by a series of causeways.

Kiribati's capital and most populated area, South Tarawa. Photo: Supplied

Mandela had profound effect - PM

Ms Ardern also spoke at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit at the United Nations.

Prime MInister Jacinda Ardern with  daughter Neve and partner Clarke Gayford during the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit at the UN in New York.

Photo: AFP

In her speech in the General Assembly, she said the South African leader had a profound effect on New Zealand.

She said his struggle against apartheid was supported in New Zealand through the 1981 Springbok tour protests which opposed sporting contact between the two countries.

She told the UN that Mr Mandela taught the world that no issue, whether it be racial inequity or indifference, is insurmountable.

Ms Ardern also said her father missed her first birthday because of it because he was a policeman and had to work during the protests.

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