The Pacific and Caribbean regions: Cooperation in action Addressing climate change in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
Oceans cover 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface and contain about 97 per cent of the Earth’s water. They support unique habitats and are connected with the global cycles of water, energy and carbon. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent report on oceans (External link) states that the oceans' response to global climate change threatens human communities living in coastal environments and small islands, which are home to 65 million people.
Small Island Developing States, such as the Pacific Island Countries or Eastern Caribbean Countries (ECC), are among those affected earliest and most by the effects of climate change, despite their contributing to less than 1 per cent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Sea level rise coupled with more frequent and intensive extreme weather events, such as tropical cyclones, directly affect the food security, livelihoods, health and well-being of the local populations. In the Eastern Caribbean, the 2017 hurricane season brought devastation, for example through Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The island of Dominica experienced significant loss of human lives and damage amounting to more than 226 per cent of its 2016 GDP. Hurricane Maria damaged the roofs of 98 per cent of the island's buildings and completely devastated the agricultural sector, a vital source of income for the country.
Compelled by the idea that more can be achieved if Small Island States work together, regional initiatives in both the Pacific and Caribbean regions enable their member states to better respond to the challenges of climate change.
NDC Finance Initiative for the Caribbean (NDCFI)
The Caribbean NDC Finance Initiative (External link) (NDCFI) is a joint initiative of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission and the Government of Saint Lucia. It is supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and operates under the auspices of the NDCP. The BMZ has supported the NDCFI in strengthening its role as a regional hub for knowledge, exchange and capacity building on NDC financing. The focus is on harnessing climate finance opportunities, improving the climate investment environment, facilitating peer exchange and effectively engaging the private sector.
In May 2021, the NDCFI launched the Eastern Caribbean Solar Challenge, a flagship project aimed at the increased deployment of renewable energy technologies (photovoltaic panels) on public and private buildings. The initiative seeks to engage governments, the private sector, development partners, impact financiers and households in a united effort to improve the diffusion of solar energy across the region.
Regional Pacific NDC Hub
Funded by the BMZ, New Zealand and Australia, the Regional Pacific NDC Hub (External link) is a platform that helps Pacific Island Countries to find the data, resources and expertise needed to implement their NDCs. In this way, it seeks to contribute to low-carbon and climate-resilient development in the region.
The Regional Pacific NDC Hub currently serves fifteen member countries, including Fiji, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu. It responds directly to requests for support from these member countries and provides:
- support to NDC review and enhancement;
- leverage financing to support NDC implementation through investment planning;
- advice and technical assistance to integrate NDCs into national and regional plans and processes;
- development of monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems;
- NDC-related information and knowledge, learning and partnership mechanisms.
With the support of the Regional Pacific NDC Hub, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu have developed quantifiable adaptation goals, which have been integrated into their NDC updates. Palau has drafted an energy efficiency regulation, making sure NDC’s energy efficiency targets are integrated into national legislation.