Climate Change Solutions Need Supporting Policy, Tools – 2019 Summary for Policymakers

Technical and financial solutions to climate change exist but success in deploying them will require policy measures and supporting tools. This is a key conclusion of this year’s Summary for Policymakers, now available as negotiators prepare for the annual United Nations Climate Conference in Madrid (COP25) next month.

Launched in 2014, the Technical Examination Process under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change provides government and non-Party stakeholders with an annual platform to identify options for addressing climate change, with a focus on technological innovation, business models and financial mechanisms.

“The Technical Examination Process is more than a review, it is a venue for the discovery and exposition of successful areas of action, and for promotion of the co-operative action so critical to a successful global response to climate change,” wrote UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa in the foreword of the publication.

“As Parties take stock of progress in implementing their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, both mitigation and adaptation, and as they review their climate ambition in light of the latest scientific analyses, they should consider this important message from the Technical Examination Process: Solutions do exist and an increasing number of non-Party stakeholders are taking up climate action,” wrote Tomasz Chruszczow and Gonzalo Muñoz Abogabir, High-level Champions of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.

Focus of 2019 Summary for Policy Makers is on Agri-food chain and on Finance for Adaptation

This year, Technical Examination Meetings around the globe—including regional meetings in Africa, Latin America and Asia—highlighted options for climate action in the agri-food chain and in finance for adaptation.

Primary food production is a resource-intensive activity. Heavy reliance on fossil-fuel-based energy and significant water and fertilizer use in primary food production result in environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, increasing food demand, due to an ever-growing population and a changing climate, will further exacerbate the environmental impacts.

Many solutions exist in the form of low-carbon technologies with high growth potential. These include wind- and solar-powered water pumps, solar water heaters, bioenergy crop-drying heaters, mini-hydro power turbines, and insulated cool stores.

A key recommendation is for governments to set enabling policy and regulatory frameworks to create the incentives in the agri-food sector. This should include providing incentives for the uptake of new farming practices, reducing import restrictions and tariffs for clean technologies, and abandoning fossil fuel subsidies.

Regarding the issue of adaptation finance, a lack of transparency, particularly for domestic and private sector finance, means that public and private actors are often unable to identify what financing is already available and therefore which financial products are best suited to which types of adaptation projects and at what level. This means many companies currently lack the awareness and knowledge base for developing the business case for adaptation action.

The Summary for Policymakers explains that all actors across the financial system can contribute to making greater levels of adaptation finance available.

Examples of capacity-building programmes across Asia and Africa demonstrate that increasing civil society understanding of policy processes (such as application modalities to access multilateral climate funds) has real benefits in enabling the local level to actively participate in national and regional adaptation planning.

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