At the heart of the Paris Agreement are the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are country-specific climate targets to reduce greenhouse emissions and adapt to climate change.
With nearly 160 countries having submitted revised or updated NDCs, 46 of which are Commonwealth member countries, there is strong political will to address climate change. Support in ensuring member states can access and secure the required finance to meet these targets is a fundamental mandate of the Commonwealth Secretariat Climate Programme.
Understanding the Financing Landscape
Efforts to effectively access and deploy climate finance resources is often strengthened when accompanied by strategic policy and institutional frameworks. Climate finance landscape and mapping exercises provide a foundation for understanding a country’s financing needs as well as all the relevant stakeholders including challenges and opportunities with new and existing sources. These are instrumental in guiding the development of climate finance strategies which assist policy makers in employing more targeted approaches for delivery of finance towards enhanced climate change mitigation and resilience actions.
Under the NDC Partnership Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) the Commonwealth Secretariat through the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH) conducted a Climate Finance Landscape Study of Belize, which informed the development of the country’s Climate Finance Strategy 2021 – 2026. A similar climate finance mapping study was also completed under this initiative for the Government of Zambia. These provided a comprehensive knowledge base of stakeholders and systems required for financing climate action in the respective countries.
In addition to identification of the various funding sources, it is equally important in establishing national systems which can track the existing flows received and help identify trends and gaps. It is for such reason the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of climate finance developed for Zambia will assist government officials both at the national level in informing the climate finance strategy, but also at the multilateral level in improving the confidence of donors, which could translate into increased and more sustained financial flows into the country.
Private Sector Engagement
Despite the renewed commitments made at COP26 towards delivery on the annual US$100 billion climate finance target, a major financing gap still exists with yearly adaptation costs in developing countries expected to amount between US$155 to US$ 330 billion by 2030 as per estimates of the UNEP 2021 Adaptation Gap Report. As the need for financing to enable countries to meet their climate commitments increases, simultaneously efforts to diversify financing instruments and sources must remain a priority.
With the revised NDC submissions, governments have an opportunity to work with and also strengthen private sector contribution to NDC implementation. The private sector no doubt can play a crucial role in supporting response to climate change by mobilising investment and implementing mitigation and adaptation actions.
With this in mind a Private Sector Engagement Strategy has been developed by the Commonwealth Secretariat through CCFAH for Eswatini under the NDC Partnership’s CAEP, to support efforts aimed at stimulating the private sector’s involvement in financing, supporting and implementing mitigation and adaptation actions. The Strategy assesses private sector potential to leverage finance to meet NDC targets as well as provide guidance to governments on ways to further encourage and facilitate the involvement of the sector in climate actions.
Moreover, being able to effectively account for the financial flows received from the private sector as well as general government spending on climate action is important both from a transparency standpoint and as an evidenced-based resource for mobilising additional finance.
The Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR) exercise conducted for Eswatini by the Commonwealth Secretariat through CCFAH and also under the CAEP, created a framework to review how climate-related spending is included in the national budgeting process. Often times Governments have limited national capacity in budgeting for climate change and having readily available financing data to support project applications.
The findings from the CPEIR assist the country’s evidence-based decision-making and integration of climate change into the national budgeting and planning process to clearly show each dollar of climate expenditure in the national budget.
As for Jamaica and like many other countries, understanding the socio-economic consequences of climate change on a country’s national budget and spending and financial implications is key to effective implementation of NDCs. It is on this basis that the Commonwealth Secretariat through CCFAH supported the Government of Jamaica under its CAEP interventions to undertake an assessment on the socio-economic and financial Implications of climate change for the country.
This assessment supports the country’s long-term strategy and investment plans for achieving climate targets and to effectively deliver on its NDC’s implementation.
Integration of Gender considerations in NDC Implementation
Within NDC implementation efforts there must be an explicit link between finance and gender related outcomes. This is paramount in ensuring the needs of women, men, boys, girls and individuals of a non-binary gender identity are considered in climate action. A study conducted by the Secretariat on the extent of Gender Integration in Commonwealth NDCs, outlined the need for improved explanation of the relationship between financial flows, gender responsive budgeting and gender equality outcomes. The study also provides recommendations on how to effectively build more gender responsive national systems around climate finance.
The Secretariat has mandated advisers operating under the CCFAH to mainstream gender equality and equity across all projects supported in-country, in an effort to ensure climate finance delivered in member states is gender responsive.
The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub
The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub supports member countries to take forward their climate priorities and targets by providing long term technical assistance to access finance and strengthen human and institutional capacity. To date the hub has helped beneficiary countries to secure US$ 45.5 million worth of climate finance and delivered approximately 81 capacity building initiatives impacting 1648 officials in 16 beneficiary countries thus far.
CCFAH knowledge management strategy places emphasis on the accumulation and transfer of knowledge and experiences across countries and regions for the replication and scaling up of innovative and successful climate action projects and initiatives. In collaboration with the NDC Partnership, the Commonwealth Secretariat is hosting 3 technical webinars to bring forward the unique perspectives and experiences of how these interventions done under CAEP, can enhance access to and deployment of climate finance for NDC implementation.
Find out more about The Commonwealth NDC Webinar Series.
- Josephine Latu-Sanft Senior Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
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