UNFCCC Focuses on Regional Needs-Based Climate Finance

The UN Climate Change secretariat is supporting a key project to improve the regional technical understanding of financial flows, actions and strategies to mobilize climate finance.

Climate Finance is needed to support action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Part of the objectives of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement is to mobilize financial assistance from governments with more financial resources than those who have fewer financial resources and are more vulnerable.

The Needs-Based Climate Finance Project aims to facilitate mobilization of and access to climate finance for priority mitigation and adaptation needs identified by developing countries to implement their commitments under the Convention and the Paris Agreement, including in the development of improved national climate action plans (NDCs).

To date, the Needs-Based Climate Finance project has responded to its mandate by undertaking activities in 8 regions covering over 100 countries, including the Arab States, the Asian Least Developed Countries, East Africa, the Eastern Caribbean, Indian Ocean Small Island Developing States, Melanesia,  South East Asia, Southern Africa as well as plans for two more regions in Polynesia and West Africa.

Acknowledging the contribution of this project, Daniele Violetti, Director of the UNFCCC Means of Implementation Division, said: “This project recognizes that the needs of developing countries to address climate change have not gone away amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, and that ongoing work is essential to providing much needed resources to support the most vulnerable”.

As part of the project, the UN Climate Change secretariat and partner institutions have convened representatives from Ministries of Finance, Planning and central banks, multilateral development institutions and banks, as well as the private sector and civil society experts to develop regional technical assessments and strategies. In the first quarter of this year, technical and validation workshops were held in Cairo, Zanzibar and Male.

The technical workshop in the Arab Region identified key elements to consider in a regional strategy, including:

  • Possible participation in international climate finance exchange networks such as the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action (CAPE) and the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS)
  • Enhanced coordination between climate focal points, climate funds and Ministry of Finance representatives working with international financial institutions
  • Greater attention to climate finance readiness funds and the financial mechanisms under the Convention
  • Increased emphasis on regional long-term climate action strategies.

In East Africa, an inception and technical workshop also kicked off discussions for a regional climate finance strategy, platform and fund to enable and make better use of financial instruments and build on existing policies and institutions. Priority needs were identified in energy, agriculture, water, health and natural resources sectors that focus on further support to actions outlined in NDCs, implementing existing national climate policies/strategies, as well as improving access to community-level finance for the vulnerable.

The workshop for Island States in the Indian Ocean validated a climate finance mobilization and access strategy, recognizing five key areas for the strategy: priority sectors and actions, partners and sources, capacity-building needs, regional policy frameworks and institutional arrangements.  Translating needs into action is the next step in operationalizing the strategy.

For example, a key area identified by countries for support is project proposal development. A project proposal writing workshop, or “writeshop” was considered, with the prospect that a pipeline of national and regional projects is developed and presented to interested investors.

As has rapidly become the norm amid the COVID-19 pandemic, technical discussions from these regional workshops and other regional project activities are pivoting to virtual environments, maintaining project momentum through technical analysis for each region.

For developing countries, this project is in line with intergovernmental discussions on enhanced action and support that have been a cornerstone for their delivery of existing commitments from the Bali Roadmap to the Paris Agreement. It is anticipated that some of the results of this project may also be considered relevant in the context of the first report of the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) on the determination of needs of developing countries in implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement.

Many of the activities underway plan to develop regional and national climate finance strategies and a pipeline of priority projects to complement national level climate finance mobilization. This approach mirrors developments of the international climate funds, such as the Global Environment Facilty (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF), that continue to strengthen their engagement at the programmatic level.

Information taken from: https://unfccc.int/news/unfccc-focuses-on-regional-needs-based-climate-finance

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