Wale hits out at decision
By ANDREW FANASIA
GOVERNMENT’s decision to slash the budget allocation for climate change expenses this year will affect vulnerable communities.
That’s according to Opposition leader Mathew Wale.
He described the decision as the “greatest pain and heartache” the 2020 national budget can give.
In his recent budget, Wale said that he had been advocating in parliament for serious investment by the government in climate change funding.
“Especially relocation of vulnerable communities and here we are with only a token allocation of $381,000 in 2020,” he stated.
“It has been said here again and again that Climate change and rising sea levels are devouring the low-lying lands of the Solomon Islands, with crops failing and lands disappearing.
“The time to act is now.”
In one of the country’s recent reports it was stated that the sea level has risen an average of 8mm per year, well above global projection
Wale said that it must now be abundantly clear to the government that we cannot expect donors to fund relocation of communities.
“This is a matter we must do ourselves.
“We must not wait till disaster strikes before offering kneejerk reactions and crocodile tears.
“Government must be proactive and exercise resolve to support the most vulnerable of our communities,” he further added.
It’s understood that Fiji has demonstrated leadership in establishing its own climate fund.
Wale said the government could learn from that and adapt it to our context.
“This is a most urgent and desperate matter.
“Our statement on climate change in international fora is not matched by resolve at home,” Wale said.