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New EU-Pacific Partnership to Address Climate Change

12 April 2012: With the aim of reinforcing its cooperation with Pacific countries to help address the impacts of climate change, including the effects of rising sea levels, the European Commission has issued a joint communication titled “Towards a renewed EU-Pacific development partnership.” The partnership aims to effectively address climate change and development in a coordinated manner.

Jointly issued by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commission Vice President, and Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, the communication outlines European steps to address climate change impacts in Pacific island countries and territories (PICTS), most of which are small island developing States (SIDS). The communication also reaffirms EU support for Pacific countries in the lead-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), in particular focusing on the green economy. The communication calls on the EU to address the following challenges: scaling-up financial commitment, complementing current official development assistance (ODA); deepening policies dialogues and adapting delivery modalities to facilitate absorption of assistance; reinforcing coordination and reducing aid fragmentation in the Pacific; improving coordination at the UN on climate change; and ensuring policies guaranteeing economic growth goes hand-in-hand with good governance and sustainability.

In launching the communication, Piebalgs announced that the EU will provide an additional €16 million to help PICTS adapt to climate change, in order to “tailor” development aid to regional needs and make poverty eradication projects more effective. Ashton said the communication provides the EU with an opportunity to “go beyond traditional donor-recipient relationships.” [European Commission Press Release] [Joint Communication – Towards a Renewed EU-Pacific Development Partnership]