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Papua New Guinea zooms in on GCF at first national workshop

Songdo,
The ‘what and how’ of engaging with GCF was the focus of a one-day workshop held on 29 November in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to advance the country’s climate agenda and its access to the Fund.
 
Co-organized by the Government of PNG, the Australian High Commission and GCF, the workshop provided a comprehensive overview of the Fund, including its investment framework and funding modalities.   
 
Sessions on accreditation and readiness support explained how developing countries can tap the Fund’s resources and build capacity to implement national climate change programmes. A panel discussion with accredited entities that are already developing projects in PNG provided insight into the types of proposals in the pipeline and potential areas for further exploration.
 
On readiness, Mr. Ruel Yamuna from the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) – PNG’s National Designated Authority (NDA) to GCF – shared an update on the institutional, legal and policy structure of the CCDA and where the country is in engaging with the Fund. Mr. Yamuna noted key lessons from the workshop included the need for an inclusive stakeholder consultation process to be established, and for additional capacity in the CCDA to perform its necessary functions as NDA.
 
 
Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change, the Hon. John Pundari, opened the workshop stating that, “the fiduciary standards of the Green Climate Fund are very high, and it is critical to have this workshop to learn from GCF the procedures and processes necessary for PNG to benefit. It is envisaged that the recent signing of a privileges and immunities agreement with the Fund will open up the opportunity for more such GCF workshops and initiatives in PNG going forward,” he explained.
 
“The stakes are very high for PNG as it has huge sustainable development potential straddling the Asia-Pacific region,” Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Mr. Benedict David said. “With its population set to double to 20 million by 2050, the implications of climate change and pressure on the resource base means that GCF investment in the right places is critical. Australia stands ready to support PNG in this important journey, as it has been a close partner for many years,” the Minister Counsellor said.
 
Ensuring environmental sustainability and responding to climate change are priorities for the Government of Papua New Guinea. In June 2015, the country passed a Climate Change (Management) Bill to accelerate action and minimize the effects of climate change — one of the first countries in the Pacific Region to do so.
 
PNG’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) spells out its bold climate action commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. Switching to renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency are two areas where the country indicated its need for financial assistance and technology transfer, critical areas to advance with GCF support, given less than 12 percent of the population has access to electricity.
 
More than 100 participants attended the national workshop held in Port Moresby, including representatives of civil society organizations, academia, government ministries and the private sector.