Despite the COVID-19 crisis, UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been taking forward important work to prepare key reports on climate finance, as well as a Forum on the topic “Finance for nature-based solutions.”
Climate finance is crucial to enable developing countries to green their economies and to build resilience to the inevitable impacts of climate change.
The reports are the fourth Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows and the first report on the determination of the needs of developing country Parties related to implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement.
The reports will inform the fourth High-level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance to be held at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, the discussions on setting a new collective goal from the floor of USD 100 billion for the post-2025 period, and later the Global Stocktakes, designed to assess the adequacy of climate action by the international community.
The fourth Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows report will identify trends in climate finance flows up to 2018, consider methodological issues, and assess their effectiveness and impact. It will also include information related to making finance flows consistent with a pathway toward low emissions and climate-resilient development.
The report on the determination of the needs of developing country Parties related to implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement is the first of its kind. It will include available information and data on the needs of developing countries by type, theme and sector, across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Zaheer Fakir of South Africa, a member of the Standing Committee on Finance and co-facilitator for the report on the determination of the needs of developing country Parties said: “Notably the needs report is not merely a report to fulfil a COP mandate, but a compass to guide developed country Parties, the operating entities of the financial mechanisms and other funds, the Multilateral Development Banks and other sources in charting a route to support developing country Parties in implementing the Convention and its Paris Agreement.”
Webinars Help Guide Work of Experts
In addition to the work of experts coordinated by the UN Climate Change Secretariat, live streamed webinars for external contributors and experts were held last month with over 140 participants.
The webinars facilitated an informal exchange of views and inputs on the latest developments on climate finance issues.
Standing Committee on Finance member and co-facilitator for the Biennial Assessment, Vicky Noens of Belgium said: «It was very valuable to have the insights to how the BA should be developed, we will certainly consider more webinars in the future as a good way to get crucial inputs.»
“The first SCF report on the determination of needs is considered a very important opportunity to inform the international community about the full magnitudes of the needs of the African countries for climate finance and support,” highlights Gareth Phillips, Manager of Climate and Environmental Finance at the African Development Bank. “I would like to commend the Standing Committee on Finance and the UNFCCC secretariat for organizing the webinar under the current circumstances and for the work done so far to deliver on the mandate. I also commend the work on the outline, the background paper and presentations which form an excellent basis for further work.”
According to Amr Osama Abdel-Aziz, President of INTEGRAL Consult, “The webinars were very useful as it allowed me to understand the status of the reports. Moreover, it was a very good opportunity to provide some feedback on the report outlines.”
The work continues apace over the next weeks and months including through calls for evidence for all stakeholders to input their views to inform the preparation of the two reports.
New Focus on Nature-Based Solutions
The Standing Committee on Finance is also gearing towards preparing its next Forum on the topic “Finance for nature-based solutions.”
Several studies and papers have highlighted that nature-based solutions for climate change offer an opportunity to protect and restore natural ecosystems, while reducing the risk of adverse effects of climate change and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
“Nature-based solutions are widely recognized as an important part of addressing climate change. I am so pleased that the SCF will dedicate its next Forum to addressing this important issue,” says Fiona Gilbert of Australia, a member of the Standing Committee on Finance, co-leading the preparatory work for the Forum.
“In addition to the huge potential for positive climate outcomes, implementing NBS also results in many development benefits, including on gender. Despite this, NBS projects often struggle to receive adequate investment and support. The Forum will explore the various challenges facing NBS and will look to address these, as well as promoting the role of indigenous and local knowledge, and ensure continued momentum for NBS financing.”
For the past seven years, the Forum has annually convened more than 120 climate finance actors under the UN flag to identify how climate finance can flow to those who need it the most, by sharing best practices and lessons learnt in generating and channeling climate finance.
“The Forum is one of its kind because of its inclusiveness under the United Nations System,” says Ambassador Mohamed Nasr of Egypt, a member of the Standing Committee on Finance co-leading the preparatory work with Ms. Gilbert.
“The next Forum will be a dedicated space for finance actors to convene to enhance the understanding of the role of NBS and identify ways to improve the financing of nature-based actions for climate change. Climate finance is a high priority in developing countries and we must not leave anyone behind. The Standing Committee on Finance will ensure all voices are heard at the Forum – not only from the big finance players, but also from the people in vulnerable situations in the poorest countries.”
Information taken from: https://unfccc.int/news/unfccc-prepares-key-reports-and-a-forum-on-climate-finance