Niue Premier will not attend COP 26 while Minister laments the challenges of accessing climate finance

Premier Tagelagi has confirmed that he will not be attending COP 26 in Glasgow in November.

Due to the risk of the Delta Covid pandemic, the Cabinet has decided against sending a high-level delegation from Niue to COP 26 but the government is committed to being part of the conversation at the worlds largest climate change conference, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from the 1st to the 12th November.

Meanwhile, in the lead up to the United Nations COP 26, Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Mona Ainuu spoke to BCN news about the challenges of accessing climate finance but she says the government is still very grateful for whatever assistance is provided.

She says that the processes are lengthy and difficult but not impossible. The government is also trying out different avenues and working in partnership with NGOs to overcome some of these challenges.

“These funds are very very difficult to get. They take a very lengthy process and are just very difficult as we have found out over the last few years.

However, it is not impossible to get these funds but we are trying different ways, in the last couple of years the NOW (Niue Ocean Wide) project have also established sustainable financing strategies which are some of the ways that we can tap into to try to access some funds to undertake our projects here”, says Minister Ainuu.

In the past few weeks leading up to COP26, RNZ reported that this year’s host Great Britain will focus on getting the western nations to fulfil their commitments made in Paris to provide $100 billion for the Green Climate Fund. To date only about half of that money has been made available.

In the past decade, $US2.2 billion dollars has been provided to the Pacific region for this purpose in the past decade.

Minister Ainuu says that these pledges sound large and great but it takes a lot of work and time before Niue will even see any tangible results.

She explains that after months of processes Niue government officials are this week finalising the paperwork to access the $7.7 US million from the Green Climate Fund. This fund will finance a five-year project which will employ up to seven workers.

The Pacific islands are some of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of the increasing frequency of natural disasters and the increasing intensity of tropical cyclones.

Many in Niue will never forget the category 5 cyclone Heta which struck Niue 17 years ago in January 2004, some people still find it difficult to speak of the cyclone that killed a mother and her nineteen-month-old son.

BCN news will bring more stories on the lead up to COP 26 in November.

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