Climate adaptation funding for vulnerable countries emerged alongside mitigating greenhouse gas emissions as one of the top issues at the United Nations climate change conference held in Madrid, Spain, in December. And with climate-related events -- such as rising seas, higher temperatures, worsening droughts and flooding -- on the rise, experts estimate that investments of between US$110 billion and $275 billion annually are needed to protect vulnerable communities.
Speaking with a group of journalists during the 25th conference of parties to the UN climate conference (COP25), Gustavo Alberto Fonseca, the Director of Programs at the Global Environment Facility (GEF), said financial mechanisms are crucial to addressing the challenges that come with strengthening developing countries' resilience to the impacts of climate change.
“Finance is an important part of achieving climate goals," he explained. "We need to mobilize the society, business, academia and development institutions to get support for our coordinated effort in addressing climate change."
GEF supports climate adaptation through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), Fonseca said.
The two funds were established in 2001, and as of June 2019, they had provided nearly $1.7 billion in grant funding to 360 adaptation projects in 117 countries, reaching more than 28 million people. The funds are replenished through voluntary contributions by the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Other funds managed by GEF come from multilateral agencies and conventions.
“The GEF plays a key role in financing adaptation as an operating entity of the financial mechanism to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” Fonseca said.
The GEF was established at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and has since provided more than $18.1 billion in co-financing to more than 4,500 projects in 170 countries.
During the Madrid summit, the GEF launched the Global E-Mobility Program to help 17 developing countries deploy electric vehicles as a way to improve air quality and reduce fossil fuel dependency. The $33-million program was announced in coordination with the European Commission’s new E-Mobility Solutions Plus Project.
It will establish three regional platforms in Africa, the Asia-Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean to support the transition to electric mobility.
In a statement tied to the launch of the program, Fonseca said that by 2050 there would be twice as many vehicles on the road globally, most of them in developing countries where air pollution is already a major challenge.
“We see tremendous benefit from governments opting to phase out internal combustion engines, both in terms of lower emissions and improved quality of life," Fonseca said in the statement.
This report was produced as part of Internews' Earth Journalism Network’s 2019 Climate Change Media Partnership. An earlier version was published on 28 Dec. 2019.
Banner image: The Global Environment Facility's Director of Programs, Gustavo Fonseca, briefs Fellows with the Earth Journalism Network’s Climate Change Media Partnership at the COP25 climate conference in Madrid in December 2019.