Prime Minister Albanese at the 2023 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting
We recognise the climate crisis is the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of people in the Pacific.Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Cook Islands, 9 November 2023
Pacific Climate Infrastructure Financing Partnership
Australia will contribute at least $350 million in climate infrastructure for the region, including $75 million for a program for off-grid and community scale renewable energy in remote and rural parts of the Pacific.
Additional funding for the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project will expand Funafuti's land by around 6 per cent, to help Tuvaluans live and thrive at home and preserve their culture.
The Pacific Climate Infrastructure Financing Partnership (PCIFP) is delivering climate infrastructure to assist our Pacific and Timor-Leste partners mitigate, adapt, and build resilience in the face of a changing climate through three components:
- Major climate-specific infrastructure projects, including:
- $50m for enhancements to existing and future AIFFP infrastructure investments, which will reduce carbon emissions and increase climate resilience across the portfolio.
- Small scale, off-grid renewable energy infrastructure to boost development in remote and rural communities. This work is moving quickly through a Call for Off-grid Renewable Energy Partnerships.
The design of a multimillion-dollar coastal adaptation infrastructure project on the capital Fogafale and the island of Nanumaga and Nanumea aims to secure communities from hazards. Image: James Lewis TCAP Coastal Engineer.
Climate Infrastructure Focus
The PCIFP is focused on financing three priority areas of climate infrastructure:
- Mitigation: brings grid scale or off-grid renewable energy infrastructure to the Pacific to displace costly diesel-fuelled electricity generation and provide inclusive access to energy for economic and social development.
- Adaptation: infrastructure works that can directly target climate impacts through flood alleviation, coastal protection and water purification.
- Resilience: ensuring all AIFFP infrastructure in all sectors (e.g. roads, bridges, ports, airports or telecommunications services) are resilient to rising temperatures, increased flood risk, sea level rise and severe weather events.
PCIFP In Action
In 2023 extensive consultation with over 200 stakeholders was undertaken to understand the needs of remote and rural communities in the Pacific and understand how Australia can provide support through PCIFP.
Now Pacific communities are set to benefit directly from PCIFP, through innovative projects that provide renewable energy for health, education and economic development outcomes.
An initial Call for Off-grid Renewable Energy Partnerships (held August-October 2023) has seen over 70 proposals for projects in 9 countries across the region from private sector and community groups.
Proposals feature private and non-government sector partnerships that can bring solar, hydro or biogas home and mini-grid systems to remote island or rural locations, including for schools and health centres. Applications for community and business infrastructure powered by renewable energy, such as solar pumps for irrigation and cold storage also featured.
Australia sees the Pacific as family and none of us can achieve the future we want alone.Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Cook Islands, 9 November 2023
AIFFP and Climate Infrastructure
Climate infrastructure has been a key area of focus for the AIFFP since its inception. In addition to ensuring that all AIFFP investments meet important environmental standards, AIFFP has already invested in large-scale renewable energy projects in the Pacific, which provide an example of further major PICFP investments currently in the AIFFP pipeline.
An aerial picture of the Palau Solar Plant
A group photo of a Ministerial delegation visiting the Palau Solar Plant
Solar Panels in Palau
Similarly, Australia is supporting the development and implementation of the Tina River Hydropower Development Project, which is the Solomon Islands Government’s first large-scale public-private partnership. AIFFP’s investment in the Project will support the development of a transmission system to connect the Tina River hydropower site to the Honiara electricity grid. The Project will contribute to the Solomon Islands’ transition away from diesel-powered energy and support it to reach its emissions reduction target under the Paris Agreement.