Pacific nations hail China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund

The China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund announced earlier this year has been recognized, appreciated and commended by Pacific nations, which are faced with severe challenges posed by climate change.

Peter Emberson, director of climate change of Fiji's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the Fijian government welcomes the "bold step" made by China, a developing country.

“Fiji welcomes this move by the government of the People's Republic of China to allocate 3 billion U.S. dollars to help developing countries address the challenges posed by climate change,” Emberson told Xinhua on Thursday.

“For the Fiji government, this is both a bold step and a positive indication of China's commitment to assisting small island developing states (SIDS) like Fiji. It also affirms that China recognizes the importance of mobilizing climate finance to transition towards low-carbon futures, whilst building resilience to climate change in developing countries. This assistance is also China's recognition of the special circumstances of least developed countries (LDCs), small island developing states and the African countries alike,” Emberson said.

China announced the China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund on Sept. 25, when a China-U.S. joint presidential statement on climate change was signed inWashington, D.C. during Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the United States. The fund will also enhance developing countries' capacity to access the Green Climate Fund, according to the statement.

“Fiji appreciates that the main objective of this fund titled the China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund is to enhance developing country capacities, to better access the Green Climate Fund. This is an affirmation that China understands Fiji's and the Pacific SIDS' main capacity challenges in accessing available resources for climate change mitigation and adaptation options,” Emberson said, adding that “this allocation by China is very timely.”

The 21th Conference of Parties (COP21), also known as the 2015 Paris climate conference, is scheduled to be held from November 30 to 11 December, where countries all over the world gather to find ways to fight climate change.

China's announcement of the fund "is also timely and encouraging in the lead to COP21, in our efforts to encourage parties in a position to do so to help capitalize and progress the finance aspect of the draft Paris agreement and decision text," Emberson said.

“As a developing island state, Fiji see's this gesture by the People's Republic of China as a benevolent one that should have far-reaching positive impacts to help leverage other development partners to come forward with ambitious pledges that will all contribute to a successful Paris COP21 outcome,” said the Fijian official.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), a regional organization consisting of Pacific island countries and territories, has also hailed China's decision to launch the fund.

The move “augurs well” for Pacific islands, said Dr Mahendra Kumar, climate change advisor of the PIDF.

“This is an exemplary move by a developing country, because really the onus is on a lot of the developed, industrialized nations to support the developing countries. But here is another case of a large developing country, in the spirit of South-South cooperation, doing their contribution to the global efforts in not only reducing emissions, promoting clean energy, but also supporting the less-endowed countries like the Pacific SIDS,” Kumar told Xinhua in an exclusive interview at the PIDF's Suva-based secretariat on Wednesday.

“Obviously, it's a very commendable action on the part of China as a large developing country. It fosters South-South cooperation,” Kumar said.

“I think the important thing so far is: China is concerned that it's faced with rising emissions because it obviously needs to provide energy to its millions and millions of people. But I think it has come out with a very ambitious plan to try and proceed on a low-carbon development pathway, and I think some of these announcements in terms of reducing energy intensity per GDP, enhancing efficiencies, promoting clean power, renewable energy and so on are extremely commendable,” added Kumar.

Melting water streams from iceberg calved from Ilulissat Kangerlua Glacier in 2006 Photograph: Paul Souders/Corbis Paul Souders/ Paul Souders/Corbis

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