The Green Climate Fund is transferring funds to help strengthen the island nation of Tuvalu against the double climate threats of rising sea levels and destructive cyclones.
GCF is sending the first USD 2 million tranche of its USD 36 million contribution to UNDP, a GCF Accredited Entity, to reduce the vulnerability of one of the most fragile nations to climate change.
The project will build coastal resilience in three of Tuvalu’s nine inhabited islands, which together have an average elevation of only 1.83m. The grant will build on existing infrastructure to protect coastal areas, including sea walls. It will also make coastal management more resilient and catalyze other sources of adaptation finance.
Cyclone Pam brought Tuvalu’s vulnerability to climate-related disasters into stark relief in March 2015 when flooding forced the evacuation of the entire population of one of its islands. While climate change is predicted to increase the severity of weather-related disasters, a recent study indicates the thawing of Greenland’s ice sheet is accelerating sea level rises.
Tuvalu’s vulnerability means it has been a key player in global efforts to deal with climate change.
“Let’s do it for Tuvalu,” Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga told other national representatives at the 21st climate change conference in Paris in 2015. “For if we save Tuvalu, we will surely save the world,” he added.