AS THE FINANCIAL framework to strengthen the response to climate change is worked out, this island’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, has warned that the issue of climate change must be taken very seriously.
While delivering an address last evening at a dinner for those attending the Eighth Meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), at Hilton Barbados, Sinckler said climate impacts would continue to affect the developed and developing countries. However, he stressed that developing and less developed countries would be affected more intensely than the industrialised countries.
Pointing out that the Green Climate Fund was close to Barbados’ heart, he explained that this country had been involved in the design and operationalisation of the Fund from the very start, and it currently represents the SIDS constituency on the Board.
He continued: “Ever since the GCF was established, small island developing states have maintained high expectations for the Fund… We know that the financing needs of SIDS are proportionate to their extreme vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change. However, to date, it can be said that the actual benefits to SIDS have not necessarily been significantly proportionate within the international climate finance system, particularly as it relates to the support of our efforts to adapt and build resilience to short and long-term climate impacts.”
Sinckler expressed the view that the Fund should make a difference, and it should be fair, accessible, flexible and country-driven, while being impactful, transformational and quick in action.
Noting that the Board meeting, which started Tuesday and ends tomorrow, came at a crucial time for the Fund, he said the initial resource mobilisation process was scheduled for completion in one month. “So, this meeting represents a critical opportunity to accelerate and operationalise that process,” he stated.
He expressed optimism that the Fund’s multi-billion dollar mark would be reached next month. He disclosed that pledges were already made by the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, as well as Germany. “I encourage other interested contributors to sustain that momentum,” he urged, stressing that pledges could only be sustained if the Board sent the correct signals.
Sinckler said that with the limited fiscal space facing Governments in the developing world, especially the Caribbean, much support was required for enhancing the institutional and technical capacities to design innovative policies and suitable adaptation programmes. “In addition, we need to be able to have, at the ready, a portfolio of “bankable” projects eligible for funding under the Green Climate Fund, which we must be able to execute quickly and effectively,” he suggested. (BGIS)