Improving financing and capacity building to counter the threat of climate change in SI

DEAR EDITOR, tens of thousands rallied across the world over the weekend, including in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, France and the United States in a rebuke of the dismissal of climate science and a call for action on climate change.

While the Solomon Islands remains committed to the Paris Agreement it must not remain silent and continue to work diligently to improve the means of implementation by improving financing and capacity building in order to counter the increasing threat of climate change in the country, especially when witnessed in coastal areas already seeing sea water intrusion and loss of cultivable land.

Evidence of the Solomon Islands Government efforts to improve financing and capacity building was apparent in early June this year when the World Bank approved a project to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and to ensure more than 9,300 Solomon Islanders would benefit from new of improved electricity services, including renewable energy sources such as solar.

Further evidence of the SIG’s ongoing efforts to develop renewable energy sources came last week in Nauru.

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Rick Hou, met with Norway’s International Development Minister, Nikolai Astrup, at the Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ summit and the PM was told Norway wanted to help the Solomon Islands develop its renewable energy resources.

In thanking Mr Astrup, Prime Minister Hou also reportedly thanked Norway for its significant contribution to the Green Climate Fund, to which it is providing more than US$270 million over four years.

It is believed that part of that fund has already gone to the Tina Hydro Project.

It is seen as vitally important for the Solomon Islands Government to do everything possible to mitigate the effects of climate change and help from regional partners, the World Bank and friends like Norway will have gone some way to satisfying citizens that some positive steps are being taken to aid capacity building and reduce the need for the importation and use of costly fossil fuels.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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