Climate change: Australia’s support for other countries
Australia is committed to doing its part to meet the UNFCCC goal to collectively mobilise at least $US100 billion per year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020, and annually through to 2025. In 2016 Australia co-led, with the UK, the development of a 'Roadmap to $US100 billion' of climate finance. The Roadmap provided increased predictability and transparency about how the goal will be reached, and sets out the range of actions donor countries will take to meet it.
In 2019, the OECD analysed public climate finance flows and private finance mobilised through public interventions from 2013-17. It found that the majority of the US$100 billion goal will be met with public finance and that developed countries and multilateral development banks are making real progress on their 2015 pledges to scale up climate finance.
On 11 December 2020, Prime Minister Morrison announced that Australia would extend its commitment to build climate change resilience, mitigation and adaptation with a $1.5 billion commitment over 2020-2025, to be implemented through Australia’s development program. This represents a fifty per cent increase on the previous commitment of $1 billion over 2015-2020. It includes Australia’s pledge of $500 million from 2020-25 to the Pacific to support renewable energy, climate change and disaster resilience. A proportion of Australia's core contributions to multilateral organisations – including the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Global Environment Facility and Global Green Growth Institute are also providing climate change assistance to developing countries.
Australia’s Climate Change Action Strategy provides long-term strategic direction over the period 2020-25, in line with Australia’s new climate finance pledge. It outlines three objectives, which are to:
- Promote the shift to lower emissions development in the Indo-Pacific region;
- Support partner countries to adapt to climate change, and to plan, prepare for and respond to climate-related impacts; and
- Support innovative solutions to climate change, including those that encourage private sector investment.
Australia's climate finance commitment includes targeted climate-specific investments across the aid program and mainstreaming of climate action in key sectors (e.g. clean energy, infrastructure, agriculture, water, health, governance).
Australia works closely with Pacific island countries and regional organisations to take climate action. We have sustained and increased funding to sectors affected by climate change. Australia had already exceeded its 2016-20 commitment to provide $300 million to support climate change mitigation, adaptation and disaster resilience in the Pacific. We provided $408 million over the four-year period to build the resilience of social infrastructure, support the shift to renewable energy solutions, improve water and food security, reduce the health impacts of climate change, and strengthen systems for responding to disasters. For more details, see Pacific Regional – climate change and resilience.
Australia is integrating climate change action and disaster risk reduction across our entire aid program to ensure our development and humanitarian assistance supports partners to reduce emissions and address the impacts of climate change. Integrating climate into our development assistance will protect investments, build long-term resilience to climate and disaster impacts, and help our development partners manage climate risks and transition to a low emissions economy.
By integrating climate considerations into our investments, we ensure development impacts are lasting. We do this through climate risk screening, by considering climate impacts on new investments and by designing programs to ensure development outcomes are attained even under changing climatic conditions. We also implement mandatory safeguards to ensure that we protect the environment when delivering the aid program overseas. For more information on these safeguards, see Environmental protection.
Australia has a strong focus on financing for adaptation and resilience, and finance flowing to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). In recent years seventy per cent of our bilateral, regional and global climate financing has gone towards adaptation efforts and two thirds of our bilateral, regional and global climate finance has benefited SIDS and LDCs. Australia sees grant financing and capacity building as playing a critical role in achieving impact in sectors where private finance is not readily available.
Australia is also stepping up its work with the private sector to achieve impact at scale in the Indo-Pacific region, and to support finance alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The global finance landscape over the last decade has evolved toward increased recognition of climate change related risks and opportunities. As this becomes more important to Australia’s overseas development efforts, innovative and blended financing instruments will increasingly be utilised, and private sector finance will be mobilised to increase the reach and impact of Australia’s climate finance.
Australia recognises that developing countries can experience challenges in attracting and gaining access to private finance for climate action. Australia is also helping to develop the pipeline of investment-ready projects to facilitate increased private finance, including by bridging the gap between project proponents and financiers. We are working with the private sector through a range of initiatives including the Australian Climate Finance Partnership, the Private Financing Advisory Network, the Business Partnerships Platform, a partnership with Convergence and the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific. We will continue to explore innovative ways to improve enabling environments, to work to identify opportunities to crowd-in private climate finance. For more information, see Private finance for development.
Australia has contributed to a number of Paris Conference initiatives including $5 million over four years (2016-2020) to the Climate Risk and Early Warning System (CREWS) initiative and $1.5 million to the World Resources Institute's Nationally Determined Contributions Partnership (NDC Partnership) (2017-2020).
Australia is supporting the Pacific Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Hub, providing $500,000 towards its operation. The Hub is assisting Pacific Island countries to put in place the institutions and policies necessary to enhance and implement their NDCs and achieve low carbon development. The Hub is providing in-country advice and technical support and is promoting regional collaboration to address common issues across the Pacific with NDC implementation. Australia has also been supporting the participation of women in climate-related negotiation processes through the Pacific Women Climate Change Negotiators Training ($1.4m, 2017-2021).