Australia committed to tackling climate change across the Pacific

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, today announced further details on Australia's commitment to small Pacific nations over the next two years to help the region plan for and respond to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

As the region's largest nation Ms Gillard said it is important that Australia help its smaller neighbours deal with the effects that climate change will have on their island nations.

Pacific Island countries are among the most vulnerable to climate change. The funds will be provided through Australia's International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative.

Australia's support has helped build understanding of climate change in the region. It has also supported practical activities including helping Pacific countries develop climate change plans, install rainwater tanks and plant mangroves to protect riverbanks and shore lines.

The Prime Minister announcedtokelau_1 three activities funded under this phase of support for the Pacific Islands:

$7.35 million for the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Program, implemented by the United Nations Development Program and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program. Australian funding will expand adaptation projects in water supply, coastal management and agriculture in 13 Pacific countries;

$5.1 million to work with the Government of Kiribati and the World Bank to improve resilience to climate change impacts on water supply and coastal infrastructure under Phase 3 of the Kiribati Adaptation Program. This will include mangroves being planted to help ease coastal erosion, extension of sea walls and installation of water tanks; and

$1 million to help Tuvalu implement its National Adaptation Program of Action. The plan aims to help Tuvalu build its resilience to climate change through better management of its coastal, agriculture and water resources. This will include mangrove planting, new food plantations and the installation of water tanks.

This phase of the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative is part of Australia's $599 million global commitment to responding to climate change from 2010-2013. At least 25 per cent of Australia's fast start package will go to help our Pacific neighbours.

Australia will also commit $3 million to support the Pacific Standards and Labelling (Energy Efficiency) Assistance Program. The Program will work with several Pacific Island countries to align with the energy efficiency standards and labelling program in place in Australia and New Zealand, initially targeting products such as fridges, air conditioners and lighting.

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