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Supporting climate finance readiness and access in the Pacific and Caribbean

A two year project designed to support improved climate financing frameworks in the Caribbean and Pacific.

Region: Pacific and Caribbean
Host: The Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC)
Start date: 01/06/2015
End date: 31/05/2017
Policy area: Economic Development
Policy expert: Janet Strachan
Project manager: Joel Burman

Background

Climate change threatens the development gains of Commonwealth member states. To some communities, cities and countries, it poses an existential threat. Caribbean and Pacific Islands Countries are among the most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change. This vulnerability is made worse by low capacity to develop and implement adaptation and resilience responses and a weak economic and technological outlook.

The announcement of the Copenhagen Accord at the 15th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 15), in 2009, sparked a high level of interest and expectation in developing countries, particularly those who, up until now, had received little by way of real finance for adaptation. The pledged US$30 billion ‘new and additional’ in fast start finance and the mobilisation of up to $100 billion per annum by 2020, with conditions for equal distribution between adaptation and mitigation in some small way helped to compensate for the lack of ambition and consensus to a legally binding agreement – as a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

The inter-governmental framework for addressing climate change issues is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Research in 2013 showed that over 500 financing mechanisms are in place (some using existing ODA instruments, others comprising private and other public monies) to provide financing to countries to help them reduce their emissions and/or adapt to climate change. This financing landscape is extremely complex to navigate, and many small and vulnerable countries report that the funds are simply not getting through in the volume required. Action is needed to overcome the hurdles for small and vulnerable countries in accessing climate finance.

Goal

This project aims to increase the capacity of the Pacific and Caribbean regional platforms to facilitate improved flows of climate finance to vulnerable states. This is to be achieved through a phased implementation approach which acknowledges the present knowledge and coordination gaps around this emergent and increasingly high-priority area of work.

This project will work through two the Commonwealth Secretariat’s key regional partners – the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). This project forms also part of a pilot phase of a joint initiative run by the Commonwealth and the Government of Mauritius: The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub

Impact

Overcoming current barriers to the delivery of relevant and well-fitting support for vulnerable states in the area of climate finance, has been the first priority of this project. The initial scoping phase of the project responded to the need to ensure that support for climate finance is transparent, non-duplicative, evidence-based and as country-led as possible. This has created an evidence basis and methodical analysis of each region’s climate finance landscape.

The ultimate beneficiaries of this project are expected to be central ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of member governments with a remit and/or impact on climate finance readiness and climate resilience activity implementation. These MDAs will benefit from the delivery of targeted technical assistance which responds to recognised knowledge, coordination and technical capacity gaps in actualising climate finance flows.

Outputs

Pacific Region

  • Climate Finance mapping exercise completed for the Pacific, focused on the identification of critical knowledge and coordination gaps.
  •  In-country needs assessments undertaken in Samoa, Fiji, Kiribati and Vanuatu. 
  • Working papers as part of the consultation and information gathering process, including:
    • Working Paper No 1: Developing Powerful Questions in order to increase the judicious use of climate finance in the Pacific
    • Working Paper No 2: An initial scoping of climate funds and how they may be recorded in a database
    • Working Paper No 3: Reflections on the Pacific Climate Change Finance Assessment (PCCFAF)
    • Working Paper No 4: Defining Climate Finance and Smart Climate Finance.
    • Working Paper No 5: Niche (gap analysis) and unique selling point analysis for CROP agencies with special reference to climate change
    • Working Paper No 6: Climate Finance and the Post Copenhagen Architecture with notes on Accessing Specific Funds
  • Final Synthesis report: Supporting Climate Finance Readiness and Access in the Pacific: Gaps and Opportunities
  • A forward-looking report outlining actions and strategies to improve understanding of (1) limits to country access to and wise use climate change finance, (2) limits to and potentials for regional coordination of climate finance activities in the Pacific, (3) Options for further support for effective climate finance in the Pacific region through further Partnerships.

Caribbean Region

  • The Climate Finance Development Partner mapping exercise has been completed. The mapping exercise identifies key roles and advocacy and the types of activities undertaken in the region, and the sources of climate financing used.
  • A summary brief for country level MDA’s has been completed. The brief identifies the names and contact details of the national designated authorities as they relate to the different funds, such as the Green Climate Fund, the Adaptation Fund, the Global Environment Facility, climate change negotiations coordination, among others.
  • A consolidated outline of feedback from member countries has been partially completed. While some issues were seen from a different perspective, some overarching areas were common to both, such as: coordination was still a critical priority to both groups; capacity development was still the primary focus for most activities; increasing financial support from Development Partners meant that some wanted to undertake reviews and assessments of their programming in order to better maximise resources for effective implementation.
  • Forward looking coordination and alignment of climate finance activities has been completed. The output is not so much a set of recommendations but a Concept Programmatic Approach to Climate Financing in the Caribbean region, which encapsulates coordination, synergy and alignment of current and emerging climate activities, and the inclusion of country defined priorities within a Country Program. Discussions and consultations with all stakeholders during the project duration assisted in confirming the approach that was drafted and prepared as a concept.
  • Concept paper: A programmatic Approach for Strengthening National Capacities on Readiness and Accessing Climate Finance Through Regional Facilitation and Assistance.