Investing in Resilience – Responding to the Adaptation Needs of the Most Vulnerable

November 30, 2015

Investing in Resilience
Responding to the Adaptation Needs of the Most Vulnerable

Monday, Nov. 30, 13:15 – 14:45

Observer Room 02, Blue Zone, Le Bourget
Paris, France (COP21 Side Event)

IISD/ENB Reportage

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, the GEF, welcomed participants to the session which considered new funding commitments from countries, followed by a panel discussion on key outcomes and lessons learned from existing and past funding. [GEF CEO Opening Remarks]

France pledged an additional €25 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) in 2016, underscoring the importance of providing the means of implementation for the most vulnerable to fight against the harmful effects of climate change on agriculture, people and the economy. 

Canada stressed strong support for the GEF, noting its unique position to generate synergies and innovation, and announced a new contribution of CAD$30 million to the LDCF over the next two years.

Denmark hoped for increasing private sector involvement in adaptation funding, noting that many Danish companies are already developing adaptation solutions in the water sector, and pledged US$22 million to the LDCF in 2016. 

Finland pointed to the threat climate change poses to development achievements, calling for climate change considerations to be integrated into development planning. She drew attention to the €1.6 million donated to the LDCF this year by Finland.

Sweden stated strengthening resilience is crucial in eradicating poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and highlighted the importance of fully involving women for successful adaptation. She noted that Sweden intends to contribute 100 million Swedish Kronor in 2016.

The UK announced £30 million to the LDCF in 2016, underscoring furthermore that adaptation support would account for 50% of UK climate financing between 2016-2020.

The US announced its contribution of US$51 million to the LDCF in 2015-2016, stating the number and scope of the INDCs submitted by LDCs is a testament to the will to be part of a truly global agreement. 

Italy highlighted work with Small Island States of the Pacific region, including support to set up early warning systems, and pledged US$2 million to the LDCF by the end of 2015, hoping to increase this amount in 2016.

Ireland pointed to adaptation support for sub-Saharan Africa in 2014, noting the development of National Adaptation Plans (NAPAs) as key, and pledged €6 million to the LDCF by 2020. 

Germany underscored the need to focus on climate justice to support LDCs to adapt to climate change and achieve people-centered, climate-smart sustainable development, and announced €50 million to the LDCF in 2015-2016.

During the panel discussion, Benin described adaptation projects enabled through work with GEF and UN Development Programme (UNDP), underscoring energy as the “alpha and omega of development,” and noting that 60-70% of the population currently have no access to energy. He detailed the “lumière pour tous” project, aimed at enabling lighting in all households in Benin, underscoring security and educational benefits.

Ethiopia observed the vulnerability of his country to climate change risks, noting that more than 80% of the population is entirely dependent on agriculture for food security and jobs. He discussed work with GEF and UNDP, with support from the LDCF, to build resiliency in highland areas at risk of land degradation due to heavy rains.

Comoros explained impacts of climate change on his country, underscoring economic dependency on agriculture and fishing. He thanked the LDCF for providing funds to respond to immediate needs, detailing a project to improve education of best practices in agriculture as one measure being undertaken.

Angola, for the LDCs, observed that 46 of 48 LDCs have submitted INDCs, noting that only one fifth of the estimated US$5 billion needed to achieve objectives of their NAPAs has been mobilized to date, stating expectation that the LDCF would ensure full implementation by 2020.

Moderator Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, thanked countries for their “significant contributions,” totaling US$248 million, noting these would improve lives across the world. She underscored the need for a different narrative on adaptation funds, stating they should be considered as the means for enabling a safe world for all, rather than as aid for poor developing countries.