The Morrison government has committed to spend $500m on climate change and disaster resilience in the Pacific.
The announcement – on top of an existing commitment of $300m for 2016-2020 – marks a significant shift from the Abbott government, which was criticised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for decreasing the emphasis on climate change in the aid program.
What will Australia spend the $500m on?
In a statement the Morrison government said the $500m will “be used to invest in renewable energy, ensure new infrastructure can withstand disasters and ensure health services are well positioned to respond to changing needs”.
Previous investments have included:
ensuring roads and bridges are more resilient to extreme weather in Papua New Guinea so people have access to markets and can visit their families during times of disaster
the Tina River Hydropower project to provide power to most of Honiara in the Solomon Islands
building climate resilient schools in Kiribati
The government has set aside $140m of the $500m for the Australian private sector mobilisation climate fund to encourage private sector investments in low emissions, climate-resilient solutions for the Pacific and south-east Asia.
Where will the money come from?
At a press conference on Tuesday, the minister for international development and the Pacific, Alex Hawke, confirmed that the $500m will be drawn from the aid budget which “is staying the same”.
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