Sub-regional Climate Finance Strategy for Melanesia: an outcome of UNFCCC’s needs-based climate finance (NBF) project with Melanesia

The four Melanesian island States of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have developed a sub-regional Climate Finance Strategy through the needs-based climate finance (NBF) project, assisted by the UNFCCC Secretariat. The Strategy is owned by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), an intergovernmental organization promoting economic growth in Melanesia. Melanesian leaders plan to present the Strategy at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit and at COP 25 in Santiago de Chile. 

The NBF Project with the Melanesian countries was launched in 2018, and the MSG Climate Finance Strategy is the main outcome of the Project, which captures the technical work done over the year by UNFCCC as well as the result of multiple consultations with the national experts from the four countries.

“The MSG needs-based Climate Strategy is an important first step to carefully analyzing the finance landscape in the sub-region and exploring traditional and innovative financing options, both public and private, to implement climate mitigation and adaption actions in the region,” said Ambassador Amena Yauvoli, Director General of the MSG Secretariat.

The mobilization and delivery of climate finance is crucial for the Melanesian countries to meet their ambitious climate goals and commitments. For instance, Papua New Guinea aims to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Fiji wants to transition to 100 % renewable electricity by 2030. These countries are also among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and are highly susceptible to natural disasters, such as tropical cyclones, tsunamis and floods. Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are among the 20 countries with the highest average annual disaster losses, globally, as a percentage of GDP. For this reason, climate action and sustainable development are high on the agenda for these countries and have been integrated into the national planning process and development plans.

The MSG Climate Finance Strategy will be used as a guide for these countries to collectively steer through the process of accessing climate finance through the UN climate funds and bilateral channels and unlocking domestic, regional, international, private climate co-financing. The Strategy clearly outlines six strategic areas and actions for each strategic area, which include the following: enabling access to climate and carbon finance, creating a regional financing vehicle for MSG climate projects, coordinating improvements in Public Financial Management (PFM) systems to enable sharing of experiences across MSG countries, and aligning bilateral and multilateral climate finance reporting with national systems across Melanesia.