Papua New Guinea’s GCF Private Sector Forum

Port Moresby March 18, 2020, The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) along with the Papua New Guinea Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) organized a Private Sector Forum on the Green Climate Fund (GCF), with the main purpose of discussing opportunities and ideas for sustained engagement by the private sector in climate change related action.

The forum was attended by a mix of the private sector, civil society, and government stakeholders.

The forum was opened by Ms. Gwen Sissiou, General Manager for REDD+ and Mitigation of CCDA, who emphasized the need for all actors, especially the private sector, to proactively engage in addressing the issue of climate change. The private sector will play an important role because of the many processes they can help drive, including their business involvement in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The private sector has the know-how, resources, and capacity to help countries deal with climate change, therefore the process both at the national and global levels will benefit very much from the active participation of private sector.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Achala Abeysinghe, GGGI Country Representative for Papua New Guinea (PNG) highlighted GGGI’s support in PNG’s transition into an economic model that is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. This requires working closely with the Government and a range of stakeholders including the private sector to make this happen and ensuring close alignment with existing initiatives led by the Government. She further outlined how GGGI supports the Government of PNG’s work in preparing for accessing funding from the GCF as the delivery partner of PNG’s first GCF readiness and preparatory support project. Dr. Abeysinghe finished noting that a huge transformation and extensive collaboration is required to address the climate challenge, and private sector mobilization is a key part of this.

Presentations were made by Mr. Jonah Auka, Manager for Mitigation of CCDA who provided an update on CCDA’s work on climate change. As part of the presentation, he talked through CCDA’s role in addressing climate change in the country, and the current activities that CCDA is implementing. Dr. Abeysinghe then provided an overview on the GCF Readiness Support Programme which aims to achieve the following outcomes: 1) country capacity strengthened (building the capacity of CCDA to execute its role); 2) stakeholders engaged in a consultative process (ensuring that stakeholders are involved in the development of the GCF Country Program); 3) private sector mobilization (exploring the role that private sector can play to support climate-resilient and compatible development), and GGGI’s role as CCDA’s delivery partner.

Mr. Rajeev Palakshappa, GGGI Consultant, presented on GGGI’s ongoing private sector mobilization work under the GCF Readiness Support Programme, which looked at what the private sector in PNG is doing particularly in agriculture and energy. The work also involved developing concepts (e.g. scaling up a waste to energy solution; a program for solar cocoa dryers, an integrated Agri Hub, and a solar farm pilot) that could possibly dovetail into program proposals under the GCF Country Programs. Mr. Palakshappa wrapped his presentation by asking participants to share their thoughts on creating a sustained platform for private sector engagement (including a yearly private sector conference for information sharing and updating the private sector on climate change progress and opportunities to engage).

The presentations were followed by an experience sharing session from the following national and regional private sector organizations in relation to private sector engagement in the climate change arena:

  • Ian Orrell, Sustainability Lead, New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL) provided a background of NBPOL and some of their climate change related activities, particularly related to energy from palm processing by-products.
  • Christian Lohberger, President of the Solar Energy Association of PNG and Managing Director Astra Solar provided insights and experiences around engagement with government, and potential for action in PNG.
  • Exsley Taloiburi, Climate Change Finance Advisor, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), provided some brief insights and experiences from around the Pacific. He focused on two aspects: a regional perspective on private sector mobilization (focusing on agriculture and energy); and an update on some of the PIFS’ regional activities and potential platforms for PNG private sector at the regional level.

The forum requested participants to think openly about opportunities to engage and support CCDA’s activities. Examples cited included private sector involvement in technical working groups and participation in international conferences. Participants also raised questions on the GCF proposal development process and how the funding from GCF will be channeled through, and whether the funds will be homed under one or multiple agencies.   They also provided their thoughts on the growth of the off-grid solar market, the challenge private sector faces in scaling up solutions (particularly finance – end-user and commercial), and the importance of creating a productive and sustainable market – not one that is reliant on donor funding.

In the end, the Chair Ms. Sissiou provided closing comments reflecting on the importance of the GCF and the potential to help change the landscape in PNG. It is recognized that there are many entities, policies, and procedures in place that will need to be navigated through and CCDA is willing to work with private sector stakeholders to support viable opportunities. She finished by asking private sector companies to continue to provide inputs on modalities of engagement and affirmed CCDA’s commitment to move the conversation forward.