14th LDCF/SCCF Council Receives $198 Million in Member Pledges for Climate Change Adaptation Programs
New commitments by Belgium, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, U.S. underscore international support for adaptation work in Least Developed Countries
WASHINGTON, DC, June 20, 2013 – The governing Council of the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund (LDCF/SCCF) today received a combined $198 million in new pledges, bringing total international commitments for investment in climate change adaptation programs in some of the world’s poorest regions to more than $1 billion.
The LDCF/SCCF Council welcomed the pledges, discussed a range of policy issues, and approved $44.83 million in grant funding for four projects: in urban flood risks in Cameroon; disaster relief and prevention in Haiti; resilience for civil society, communities and women in Namibia; and water scarcity in the Andean region due to the alarming retreat of glaciers; and two programmatic approaches, one for the Pacific Islands Ridge-to-Reef National Priorities, the other for the Rural Livelihoods Adaptation to Climate Change program.
Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, which manages the LDCF/SCCF funds, cited strong scientific evidence that the world is at a new juncture in which human activity has become an overwhelming force of nature on a planetary scale and in which weather extremes, driven by climate change, become the ‘new normal.’
“We now experience major economic costs due to unsustainable practices, and we can no longer exclude catastrophic tipping points,” Ishii told the Council. “Evidence around the globe calls for concerted action on mitigation, but also on adaptation and preparedness. The adaptation program of the GEF, financed under LDCF and SCCF, addresses these challenges through concrete adaptation actions that contribute to poverty alleviation, build resistance in all development sectors including food security, and build capacity for disaster risk management and prevention.”
Climate change adaptation programs aim to help communities, countries, and regions cope with the impacts associated with global warming, including water scarcity, rising sea levels, floods, and weather extremes.
Responding to the pledges, Bonizella Biagini, Head of the Global Environment Facility’s Climate Change Adaptation Program, said, “The donors are stepping up to the adaptation challenge, and this is absolutely critical given the state of our climate, and we are truly grateful for the support of these nations as well as their vote of confidence in the LDCF and SCCF.”
The LDCF and SCCF are primarily dedicated to adaptation financing for the poorest countries in the world and for climate-vulnerable countries including small island states. Given their relatively small economies and, therefore, small carbon output, and, on the other hand, the vulnerability of regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa to severe drought and other weather extremes, the LDCs identified adaptation as their top climate change priority. Both funds help ensure food security, access to drinking and irrigation water, public health and disaster risk management and prevention in a changing climate.
The LDCF/SCCF Council has approved a total of $847.47 million in projects, including the most recent list of projects approved by the 14th Council. Of that total, $605.6 million has gone to LDCF projects; $241.87 million has gone to SCCF projects.
The pledges, announced by country representatives on the LDCF/SCCF Council, were as follows (converted to U.S. dollars):
Belgium: $15.8 million for LDCF; $15.8 million for SCCF
Germany: $66 million for LDCF; $39.6 million for SCCF
Norway: $3.7 million for LDCF; $2.5 million for SCCF
Switzerland: $1.1 million for LDCF; $1.3 million for SCCF
United States: $25 million for LDCF; $10 million for SCCF
Ms. Bonizella Biagini
Head, Climate Change Adaptation Program
Phone +1 202 458 7506
Press Release No: 06202013
(L-R) Roland Sundstrom & Saliha Dobardzic, GEF Climate & Chemicals Staff; Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO & Chairperson; Josceline Wheatley, United Kingdom, Co-Chair of GEF 44th Council Meeting; Bonizella Biagini, Head of GEF Climate Change Adaptation Program; Chibulu Luo & Fareeha Iqbal, GEF Climate & Chemicals Staff.
Photo courtesy of IISD Reporting Service/ENB. Photo by Franz Dejon