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Fiji is one of the world’s most affected nations by climate change and the need for green investment in Fiji to reduce its vulnerability with climate adaptation and change adaptation has become increasingly urgent. The World Bank recently released a report stating that over 3 billion Fijian dollars are needed over the next ten years to finance climate-related needs, and it is essential for Fiji to play a leadership role in creating new solutions. WRI, together with the Fijian Government and other stakeholders, developed a National Climate Finance Strategy which will enable effective climate strategies over the next ten years.

The strategy aims to make Fiji more resilient to climate change and to support its economic development. The strategy supports Fiji’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, in which it pledged to reduce emissions and invest in adaptation measures. In 2018, the World Bank provided support for the issuance of a sovereign green bond by the Fijian Government, making it the first developing country to issue such a bond. This marked an important milestone in Fijis development as this innovative financing instrument helped build Fiji’s resilience to climate change. By issuing sovereign green bonds, the government not only demonstrated its commitment to addressing climate change but also gained access to new sources of finance from both public and private sectors.

This bond is expected to help reduce Fiji’s carbon emissions and build resilience capacity by financing projects that support Fiji’s commitment to renewable energy. According to the government, these funds will be used to finance strategies and projects that will help other countries experience economic growth while building resilience against climate change. The government hopes this green bond will not only contribute to Fiji’s GDP but also help other countries build their capacity for climate-related investments.

Fiji has identified climate change as an area of priority and is dedicated to creating Fijis first national adaptation plan. Fijis vulnerability to the effects of climate change has been well documented, and the government has identified several climate-related policies and interventions to mitigate the impacts of this change. The development strategy for Fiji includes policy priorities that directly address climate change, such as improving access to climate finance, strengthening adaptation planning, and developing a comprehensive development plan for the country. To achieve this goal, Fiji is partnering with the World Bank, which is providing assistance through its Pacific Climate Resilience project. Through this partnership, Fiji will be able to access financing for projects that are aimed at increasing resilience in its economy by strengthening policies related to climate change. Additionally, the World Bank is helping Fiji develop a long-term climate resilience strategy that will further strengthen its ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. These investments in Fijis future are critical in order for it to remain competitive in an increasingly competitive global economy while also protecting itself from the impacts of a changing climate. By investing in Fijis future today through these initiatives, we can help ensure its continued economic growth and development while also helping reduce its vulnerability to the impacts of a changing environment.

The investment opportunities are many: Fijis nature based seawalls are one such potential area of investment, as they provide a natural protection against the increasingly powerful storms and waves associated with climate change. Through projects like Fiji’s, communities across the island nation are able to build their community resilience and increase their ability to respond to the impacts of climate change. Fiji faces unique capacity constraints when it comes to accessing climate finance through traditional sources such as multilateral banks or private sector investments, but also has an opportunity for innovative financing structures that can increase carbon storage and build resilience. Seawalls are especially influential in this regard, as its construction increases coastal protection from waves and storm surges while also providing a living barrier that increases carbon storage. Leaders in the Pacific Islands region have been working diligently to access climate finance from traditional sources such as multilateral banks, however these institutions often lack the resources or capacity to provide extensive grants or loans for projects at a local level.

With the increasing need for sustainable development to meet Fiji’s climate mitigation targets, Fiji is looking to its financial sector as a respondent in accessing the necessary funds. The electricity sub-sector in particular has been the focus of deep diving into the financial landscape. Unfortunately, there are limited opportunities for financing within this sector due to its limited capacity and high capital costs. However, with careful planning, Fiji can access climate finance through investments in renewable energy projects that have positive climate outcomes. By leveraging private sector partnerships and developing innovative approaches to financing these projects, Fiji can unlock additional sources of finance and develop a more diversified energy sector that is resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Such investments can support Fiji’s agriculture and fisheries sectors, which are vital to the livelihoods of the country’s population. Furthermore, investments in renewable energy projects would create new opportunities for Fiji while simultaneously protecting its ecosystems and natural resources from escalating climate impacts. This is particularly important for low-lying atolls that are increasingly vulnerable to sea level rise and extreme weather events, such as cyclones and floods. Investing in renewable energy projects could also benefit Fiji’s tourism and fisheries sectors by protecting coral reefs and coastlines from further damage caused by climate change.

Fiji is currently in negotiations with the Green Climate Fund, a global fund that channels climate finance to developing countries, to receive funding for its climate goals. Fiji’s strategy includes using the funds to rehabilitate vital ecosystems and upgrade infrastructure development. This includes energy projects such as renewable energy generation and energy efficiency measures. Fiji is also in talks with other climate finance providers, such as the World Bank, and has developed a 19-point pandemic safe economic recovery plan which provides a detailed roadmap for how it plans to use the money for sustainable development and energy projects. By investing in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, Fiji can reduce its dependence on fossil fuels while also reducing its carbon emissions. This can help Fiji reach its own climate goals while also protecting its borders from rising sea levels caused by climate change. In addition to providing benefits for Fiji’s economy, this investment could have positive implications for other South Pacific Islands that are facing similar challenges due to climate change.