Fifteen Pacific island countries will benefit from a project supporting vulnerable nations in the region to adapt to the impacts of climate change, through promoting sustainable livelihoods and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
The Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (ACSE) programme will also promote energy security solutions at national, provincial and community levels. The programme will include interventions to implement appropriate adaptation practices and technologies in food security, coastal management, water security, and improving access to energy.
The European Union (EU) and the Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbHsigned a Euro 18.6 million (FJD 47.1 million) delegation agreement in Suva today to begin the process towards implementation of the first component of the ACSE programme. The signing ceremony was held at the Fiji Museum as part of global and regional activities to mark Europe Day today. GIZ will implement the programme.
“The European Union is committed to promoting sustainable livelihoods in Pacific Island Countries and strengthening country capacities to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and enhance their energy security”, EU Ambassador Andrew Jacobs said.
Speaking on behalf of the implementing partner Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which also implements a regional climate change adaptation programme on behalf of the German Government, Director Dr Wulf Killmann said: “GIZ has been cooperating for nearly 40 years with Pacific Island partners in strengthening the capacity of people and institutions to improve the livelihoods of Pacific Islanders. We are looking forward through this programme to help further strengthen the resilience of people and communities”.
The Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS) has been involved in the programme design by coordinating inputs from other CROP agencies and Forum Island Countries since the signing of the Financing Agreement in late February this year.
“The challenges of effective sustainable development and being able to respond to major global problems like climate change and to build country resilience are among the priority issues of the region and, as we see today, development partners must ensure their supporting efforts are properly coordinated and that their responses to country needs are delivered effectively,” PIFS Secretary General Tuiloma Neroni Slade said.
Climate change is disproportionally affecting the countries of the region. Although Pacific islanders have done little to contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions, they are among the first to be exposed. At the same time, despite efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and improve energy security, many Pacific Island countries depend almost 100 percent on imported petroleum products for power generation and transportation.
Working with Pacific Islands Countries and Territories to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change and increase their sustainable energy production is a priority for the EU. The EU ACSE Programme, implemented by GIZ, forms part of the EU’s broader engagement on climate change adaptation, sustainable energy and disaster risk management in the region, which includes, amongst others, programmes such as the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the University of the South Pacific, the ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) programme, and the North Pacific Renewable Energy Project (NORTH-REP).
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The Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (ACSE) programme was designed in 2012.PIFS was instrumental in coordinating inputs from other CROP agencies and Member Countries into the project design.The total EU funding for the ACSE project is of 35.5 million euro, distributed through three key components.
The signing ceremony between the EU and GIZ is for Component 1 of the ACSE Programme, which is the “Call for Proposals”. It is worth 18.64 million euro. The call for proposals is intended to reinforce beneficiaries’ ownership and will promote climate change adaptation and energy security solutions at national, provincial and community level. In addition a pool of regional experts will also be created in order to support PACP countries identify, prepare and if necessary implement adaptation and mitigation projects and to provide technical back stopping for PACPs in climate change adaptation and sustainable energy.
Component 2 will have an envelope of 10 million euro earmarked to leverage additional funds (catalytic component), including for parallel co-financing operations with other donors, notably with New Zealand in the framework of the EU-NZ Energy Access Partnership for the Pacific and ADB. Three projects have been identified under this component, which will benefit Tonga, Kiribati and Nauru. Component 3 is an envelope of 6.1 million euro to facilitate the establishment of regular, standardised and widely available training courses in climate change adaptation, renewable energy and energy efficiency at the TVET level. Component 3 will be implemented by SPC.