Category: Climate Finance

Who benefits and who’s willing to pay? Key questions for adaptation finance

Who benefits and who’s willing to pay? Key questions for adaptation finance

By Mairi Dupar, Technical Advisor to CDKN

Last week in London, Climate Policy Initiative, adelphi and GIZ convened a roundtable to examine developing countries’ financing challenges, needs and opportunities in response to climate risk. The discussion ranged from government preparedness to the insurance industry’s role in encouraging resilient behaviours by adjusting premiums. Mairi Dupar of CDKN shares her view.*

The adaptation finance roundtable focused on how developing countries can mobilise investment for climate adaptation more effectively. The discussions explored a key question: ‘Who benefits from investments to reduce climate risk and, as a result, who is willing to pay?

Indeed, ‘who benefits’ is a question that gets to the heart of individual and organisational incentives to invest in climate change adaptation.

Consider a mangrove forest

Convincing businesses to pay for climate adaptation depends on aligning identified risks (and mitigating measures) with their business plans.

The group considered the hypothetical case of a 5 star hotel on a stretch of coastline, where mangroves protect against coastal erosion. Imagine how important the mangroves’ ‘green infrastructure’ could be in breaking up wave energy and retaining soils as storm surges increasingly pound the coast in a changing climate. The hotel’s very existence depends on the shoreline’s integrity and the presence of mangroves.

The hotel company would benefit directly and materially from preserving the mangroves. There is a clear business case for why the company should invest in mangrove conservation to protect its own continuity. Here, investing in mangrove protection, a form of climate risk reduction, becomes an integral part of the business plan.

In this scenario, it is likely that conserving the mangroves would benefit the local community and wider society, by providing many ecosystem services (some with direct monetary value, others not), such as hatching grounds for fish, carbon storage and sequestration, and so on. These would be ‘positive externalities’ of the company’s investment, that would bolster broader social resilience.

Consider another case: the 5 star hotel is positioned several kilometres inland. Removing the mangroves has no immediate impact on the hotel’s physical integrity and its profitability over five, ten, even twenty years. Imagine in this scenario that thousands of low income residents are situated close to the mangrove forest and highly exposed to coastal storm surges if the mangroves are cut. Some community members gain from cutting the mangroves today for their firewood and income needs, but overall, these gains are small and short-lived; whereas a mangrove conservation scheme promises steadier long term employment for some workers and indirect benefit from healthy fisheries and a resilient, more protective coastal environment, for thousands more people.

In this scenario, the hotel company doesn’t have a business case for investing in the mangrove’s protection; it has less stake in the game.

By contrast, thousands of community members have a material, long-term stake in the mangroves’ health. Here, the needed investment in mangrove conservation (and hence climate risk reduction) is a public good. Who invests? Who is willing to pay?

The hotel company may be willing to pay, but as a matter of corporate social responsibility or ‘charitable work’ rather than as an integral part of its business operation.

The community members may band together to self-organise and pay in cash or in kind for mangrove conservation. Or, this could be a role for financing by local or national government (or benevolent, external actors) of this public good.

Business basics are what drive private sector adaptation investments

“We need to be careful about over-emphasising the call for ‘innovative’ financial mechanisms to attract private investment to climate adaptation,” said John Firth, Director of Acclimatise. “What we need to do to mobilise private sector investment is in fact quite simple. We need to answer two questions: ‘Is there a business case, for investment in climate change adaptation and for more resilient investments,’ and ‘is there a return on investment?’”

Sometimes the investments that companies need to make to reduce their climate exposure and vulnerability are clear-cut.

Other times, it takes big picture thinking and good data and analysis to pinpoint the investments that will reduce climate risks to a manageable level. The Oasis Platform for Catastrophe and Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation – which is funded by the CPI’s Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, offers ‘a set of tools that together aim to offer a more transparent, robust and comprehensive approach for analysing and pricing risk from extreme events’ including modelling of climate-related disaster losses.

Dickie Whitaker, its Chief Executive, said: “We are looking at mangrove swamp removal and coral reefs and the connection is embedded in the model-as well as factors such as the type of soil, the saturation of soil, and the runoff. We don’t say ‘I wonder what will happen to the mangrove swamps because it’s included in the model already – if someone takes the mangroves away, then the insurability will go down”.

Financing adaptation when it’s a public good

Craig Davies of the EBRD pointed out that recent developments such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) are beginning to create incentives for a more rational allocation of capital in a way that reflects the realities of climate change impacts. Multilateral finance institutions and climate finance mechanisms should urgently consider how the public funds that they manage can help ensure that developing countries are not left behind. ‘International climate finance has an important counter-cyclical role in supporting vulnerable locations and communities that commercial finance would otherwise not reach’ said Dr Davies.

Forms of blended finance, where the public sector takes the ‘first loss’ for an adaptation investment and reduces financial risk for private investors, are growing in popularity – a recent article by Charlotte Ellis and Kamleshan Pillay documents promising blended finance initiatives in Southern Africa.

Ultimately – according to John Ward, Director of Pengwern Associates, the public sector may have a role to play in monetising and paying for the benefits of resilience activities that are not currently monetised and paid for.

These interventions to build climate resilient societies – beyond the company level – could be as fundamental and diverse as: data and information sharing, creating education and alert systems, creating, preserving or restoring public infrastructure and many other activities.

Once these public goods activities are identified, then either they can be funded by public monies or, said Mr Ward, “you identify who the people are who are willing to pay to access those benefits and match them to the investors who are willing to bear the costs.”

Roundtable participants agreed that non-governmental organisations have often led the field in identifying the multiple benefits of adaptation projects and either financing them directly from their own private sources, or setting up reciprocal financing mechanisms to make programmes self-sustaining. Many successful NGO initiatives involve nature-based solutions that mediate the impacts of climate change—such as tree-planting and sustainable water management in watersheds to benefit both upstream and downstream water users and compensate natural resource managers for their efforts. One such combined initiative on climate adaptation and mitigation, by the NGO Natura Bolivia in Santa Cruz Department of Bolivia, has now grown exponentially in size and is being adopted across many other parts of Bolivia and South America.

Inaction is not an option

One thing is for certain: experts at the roundtable agreed that identifying climate risks, who has a stake in managing the risks and who’s willing to pay – plus the job of unlocking that finance – is a process that generally takes too long. Climate risks are here today and action is needed now. Without action to reduce climate-related risks, losses for firms and for societies will mount – with UNEP predicting an annual cost of climate adaptation in developing countries of up to US$500 billion per annum by 2050.

The roundtable was part of an ongoing study and consultative process by CPI and adelphi, on the challenges and opportunities for adaptation finance. The results are due to be presented in late 2018. Top of the study team’s initial conclusions – according to CPI analyst Valerio Micale – are the need tocreate demand among governments and private companies for services and products to analyse climate risks.’

*The policy roundtable took place under Chatham House rules and all interviewees agreed to be quoted for this article.

Further results of the study will be published on This article was originally by published on CDKN’s website and is shared with the author’s permission.

Cover photo by Anton Bielousov/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0): Mangroves in Los Haitises National Park (Dominican Republic).
Can the Green Climate Fund help Guyana respond to climate change?

Can the Green Climate Fund help Guyana respond to climate change?

By Will Bugler

The Government of Guyana is urging local organisations, like businesses, NGOs, and others, to join the fight against climate change. Climate change will have serious consequences for the people of Guyana, but cutting carbon emissions and protecting the country from extreme weather events is costly. Finance made available through the Green Climate Fund can help Guyana to prepare for climate change. A new programme[1] being implemented by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre is raising awareness among Guyanese organisations about how to apply to the fund and respond to climate-related threats.

In Guyana, preparing for the impacts of climate change is paramount. The low-lying coastal zone is home to 90% of the country’s population and particularly at risk. Climate change is causing sea levels to rise, and increasing the frequency of powerful storms and extreme rainfall. These can lead to destructive flooding; in 2005 alone, catastrophic floods cost the country 60% of its GDP or US$494.9 million.[2] It has been estimated that in order to implement climate change adaptation measures, including infrastructural development works, Guyana will require an additional US$ 1.6 billion in the period to 2025.

While the costs of taking action on climate change are high, the costs of doing nothing will be far higher.[3] For example, with large coastal areas sitting between 0.5 and 1 meters below sea level, including Georgetown, sea level rise poses a serious threat to coastal populations, increasing the likelihood of coastal flooding. Substantial financial and human resources are necessary to build the resilience needed in Guyana. However, it is also imperative that an enabling environment is created to encourage adaptation and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

It is an established fact that every dollar spent on building resilience saves four dollars on avoided losses[4]. Resilience building measures might include improved sea defences, reinforced mangrove forests, and improved agricultural practices. Emission reductions and resilience building provide returns on investments that any entrepreneur would want to pursue.

Funding from the Green Climate Fund will support initiatives aimed at preparing Guyana for an uncertain climatic future. The Government of Guyana has already started to engage with the Green Climate Fund. Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has been appointed as the National Designated Authority (NDA) and the Office of Climate Change, Ministry of the Presidency serves as the Secretariat.

Currently, Guyana is benefitting from a grant from the Fund to strengthen institutional capacity and prepare a country programme to guide future engagement with the Green Climate Fund according to clearly defined development goals. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre is implementing this new programme – ‘Capacity Building of the National Designated Authority (NDA) and Preparation of the Country Strategic Framework of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (CRG)’ – which will help businesses, NGOs and government agencies access funding from the Fund.

In addition, more funding proposals are being prepared for the agriculture, forestry and energy sectors to help strengthen these sectors’ response to climate change. Access to the funding requires organisations to go through a challenging accreditation process. This new programme provides guidance to help organisations decide if accreditation is right for them.

In 2018, the Government plans to work closely with the private sector to enhance their capacity to access resources from the Fund. These resources will be instrumental in preparing the country’s long-term response to climate change, helping Guyana to prosper socially and economically.

For more information about Guyana’s engagement with the Green Climate Fund please contact the Office of Climate Change, Ministry of the Presidency:

[1] The programme is known as “Capacity Building of National Designated Authority (NDA) and Preparation of the Country Strategic Framework of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana (CRG)”

[2] Government of Guyana (2009) Via


[4] (CDB, 2017)

Cover photo by amanderson2/Flickr (CC BY 2.0).
New investor toolkit launched for managing climate risk and investing in resilience

New investor toolkit launched for managing climate risk and investing in resilience

By Will Bugler

The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) is today launching a new guide for investors on climate risk tools and resources and managing for resilience.

The guide – Investing in Resilience: Tools and Frameworks for Managing Physical Risk – provides a snapshot of emerging tools and resources to help investors assess and manage physical climate risk, at both the portfolio and the asset level. It lays out some of the key concepts, issues and challenges associated with adaptation and provides a snapshot of emerging resources to help manage for resilience.

Climate change is increasingly recognised as a financial risk for investors, requiring the same levels of governance, oversight and active management as any other dimension of material financial performance.  These risks include both the financial costs and opportunities presented by transitioning to a net zero carbon economy, and the physical effects of climate change itself.

“The impacts of climate change are already being felt. This is translating into increased costs for investors at the asset and the portfolio level. These costs are set to escalate as climate change accelerates”, said Emma Herd Chief Executive Officer, IGCC.

“Financial regulators now expect financial institutions and regulated entities to have processes in place for managing climate change risks to their portfolio, this includes physical risk”.

“Investors need new sophisticated tools and resources to actively identify, measure and manage physical risk. The good news is that these tools are emerging”.

Investing in Resilience is an important and practical addition to the wave of new tools emerging to help investors tackle physical risks for assets and increase the resilience of their portfolio”, said Herd.

This guide is the latest in a series of resources that the Investor Group on Climate Change has developed in recent years to assess key climate risks across major industry sectors and identify means of investing in adaptation.

It was initially developed in a workshop, co-hosted with NAB in June 2018, mapping the landscape of emerging tools and resources for managing climate resilience.  It has been shaped and framed by investors and the finance community to accelerate the management of resilience across the Australian economy.

Download the report by clicking here.

Podcast: The Green Climate Fund in Guyana – Janelle Christian, Head of the Office of Climate Change, Guyana

Podcast: The Green Climate Fund in Guyana – Janelle Christian, Head of the Office of Climate Change, Guyana

By Will Bugler

Climate change is already having serious impacts for Guyana, 90% of the population live on the coastal plain, less than 1 meter above sea level. 75% of the country’s economic activity also takes place in this region. In 2005 Guyana suffered a catastrophic flood, which affected over a third of its population and cost over 60% of the country’s GDP. Tackling climate change is, therefore, an urgent necessity for Guyana, but cutting greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate impacts requires investment.

To help with the cost of responding to climate change the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been established under the UNFCCC. But what exactly is the GCF? who can access it? and how will it work in Guyana? To learn more we spoke with Janelle Christian, Head of Guyana’s Office of Climate Change.

Cover photo by Guayana’s Department of Public Information.

Climate finance from multilateral development banks hit record high of $35.2 billion in 2017

Climate finance from multilateral development banks hit record high of $35.2 billion in 2017

By Elisa Jiménez Alonso

Climate financing by the world’s six largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) rose to a seven-year high of $35.2 billion in 2017. That equals an increase of nearly 30 per cent on the previous year, boosting projects that help developing countries cut emissions and address climate risks.

The MDBs’ latest joint report on climate financing said $27.9 billion, or 79 per cent of the 2017 total, was devoted to climate mitigation projects that aim to reduce harmful emissions and slow down global warming.

The remaining 21 per cent, or $7.4 billion, of financing for emerging and developing nations was invested in climate adaptation projects that help economies deal with the effects of climate change such as unusual rainfall patterns, worsening droughts and extreme weather events.

While the boost in climate finance is a welcome development, climate change adaptation is still severely underfunded. Adaptation and mitigation should not to be seen as competing interests, rather they are complementary strategies to a problem that needs addressing from several different angles. As such, the need to scale up finance is urgent for both, however, adaptation has a lot of catching up to do.

According to UNEP, global estimates on the costs of adaptation suggest that between $280 billion and $500 billion need to be spent each year by 2050 in order to build climate resilience under higher emission scenarios. This massive finance gap is already noticeable in developing countries, many of which are on the frontlines of climate change.

The mobilisation of financial resources for climate adaptation (and mitigation) is a very important signal of political will and commitment to respond to climate change and its associated impacts.

Read the full press release about the joint report here and download the full document by clicking here.

Cover photo by UN Women/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
Can blockchain unblock climate finance?

Can blockchain unblock climate finance?

Funders’ perceptions that there is too much risk in investing at the local level prevents climate finance from making a real difference. Sam Greene discusses whether new technologies can benefit local communities while delivering the confidence donors and investors need to put their money where it matters.

By Sam Greene, IIED

Climate finance is not getting to the people who need it most – vulnerable communities on the front line, hardest hit by the impacts of climate change but least able to respond. IIED estimates only 1 in 10 dollars of the $60bn in public and private climate finance from dedicated climate funds is directly committed to local level activities.

Local communities know what works and have ingenious and sustainable solutions for adapting to climate change. But cut out of the funding picture, they have almost no say in how or where the bulk of the money is spent.

IIED is exploring the barriers stopping climate finance reaching local people. Part of this is examining emerging innovations in technology that can break those barriers. We are considering the role that blockchains, artificial intelligence, GPS satellites and advanced data platforms might play enabling finance to flow.

A risky business?

One major blockade is perceived risk: donors and investors do not have confidence in local level institutions’ (e.g. small business, local government authorities) financial systems, in their ability to spend money effectively and are wary of having no means of holding them to account. The distance between international and local actors makes it harder for funders to know what is happening ‘on the ground’.

Emerging technologies may help to circumvent this barrier. It’s been hard to miss the blockchain hype – decentralised ledgers that make the transfers of funds or assets between people or organisations fully transparent. Blockchains can record transactions of anything of value such as money, land, or identities, as well as assurances of impact or change delivered by an investment.

And being a decentralised system, costly intermediaries become redundant as investors, governments or communities can transfer funds or other assets directly between each other faster and at less expense.

The video below was made by the World Economic Forum to explain some of the benefits of blockchain technology.

With the potential for such a radical shake up in the transparency of transactions, could blockchains be the key to increasing funders’ appetite for climate finance investments?

Blockchains in practice

Digital “smart” contracts are programmed to automatically trigger payments when certain conditions are met.

Gainforest is using smart contracts to incentivise small-scale Amazonian farmers to preserve the rainforest. Farmer ’caretakers’ receive rewards for preserving patches of rainforest over a 3-6 month period. The reward is crowdfunded by private individuals or institutional donors and the size is determined by the difficulty in preserving the particular area of land.

When remote sensing satellites verify a particular patch of forest is still standing, the smart contracts enable payments to be sent automatically to the farmers. Since satellites independently verify the status of different patches, these transactions are significantly more transparent and can be trusted by donors. And with no ’middle-men’ transferring funds, administrative costs are cut dramatically.

Bitland in Ghana is using blockchain technology to create an immutable, transparent record of land ownership using drones, remote sensing and field-level research to enhance the data. Clear, public records of who owns what can help tackle corruption, illegal land grabbing and costly local border disputes that thrive on poor data and incomplete or unavailable written records. Clear records of ownership can transform local peoples’ access to finance – as they can prove ownership of their land and secure credit by borrowing against it.

Risks and challenges

However, there are challenges – such as the significant energy needed to maintain blockchains. Accessibility is also an issue: all users must have reliable internet access and enough technological literacy to access and review blockchain data.

There are also risks. Since the distributed ledger is transparent and immutable, its value rests on the quality of data that populates it. And the choices of information put onto ledgers, or the conditions set for smart contracts are highly political. Blockchains may entrench uneven power dynamics between donors and recipients. If smart contract conditions are set by donors, the needs of the recipient risk being overlooked. Can this power dynamic be shifted to a model where both donor and recipient ‘own’ the conditions, enabling both groups to hold each other to account? How can we ensure that these kinds of contracts preserve trust within and between communities?

Exploring the barriers to local-level climate finance

Blockchain technology is still an unknown quantity and a wave of local-level investment is unlikely until the various obstacles are addressed. These include:

  • high energy demands to power blockchains
  • the potential for blockchains to become cumbersome as more users and data is added
  • issues of fairness, recognising that the most vulnerable will only benefit if they have internet access and user-friendly, local language platforms to review ledger data
  • a skewed power dynamic where investors and donors set smart contract conditions that may not reflect local priorities.

At a workshop in early July, we’ll be bringing together donors, investors, innovators and community funds to explore the potential of Blockchain and other new technologies, and whether these new platforms can help tackle perceived risk in local level climate finance investments.

This blog was originally published on IIED’s website and is shared under a Creative Commons license. Read the original blog here.

Cover photo by Joel Filipe on Unsplash.
Swaziland on track to accessing the Green Climate Fund

Swaziland on track to accessing the Green Climate Fund

By Caroline Fouvet

Swaziland, a lower middle-income country bordering Mozambique and South-Africa, is committed to becoming a developed economy by 2022. Climate change, however, stands in the way of this transition, as droughts and erratic rainfall patterns hamper development efforts. The 2015-2016 El Niño-induced drought took a heavy toll on agricultural production, in particular sugarcane, maize production, and livestock, while also bringing hydropower production to a standstill. Overall, the drought is estimated to have cost the country USD 325 billion, which amounted to 7.01% of Swaziland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016.

Against this backdrop, the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs (MTEA) supported by the Africa Climate Change Fund (ACCF), is implementing a project to catalise investments in a low-carbon and climate-resilient development. Acclimatise was selected to carry out the project in three parts, including an encompassing country assessment, capacity building, and concept note and proposal development.

As part of the capacity building component, a training of trainers (ToT) took place last week to equip national project developers, managers, and coordinators from 17 public and private sector organisations with the necessary skills to prepare concept notes for submission to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Those will be focused on the water, energy, agriculture, natural resource management and urban sectors.

As a result of the ToT, a pool of 20 national trainers on project development for climate finance will transfer the acquired skills and knowledge within and beyond their organisations. Concept notes prepared under the ToT will be moved forward for submission to the GCF in the coming months under the third component of the project, in collaboration with C4 EcoSolutions. Swaziland is committed to accessing the GCF in order to implement transformative projects to tackle climate change, which threatens decades of development gains.

Participants of the ToT attend last week’s workshop.

Cover photo by Acclimatise: Group photo of the ToT that took place in Swaziland last week.
Bangladesh to empower women and girls in the face of increasing climate impacts

Bangladesh to empower women and girls in the face of increasing climate impacts

By UNDP Adaptation

The world’s largest multilateral fund for climate change action, the Green Climate Fund, has approved almost US$25 million in grant funding in support of Bangladesh’s efforts to build the adaptive capacities of vulnerable coastal communities.  With a focus on women and adolescent girls, a new 6-year project is set to benefit 700,000 people living in disaster-prone southwestern districts.

Led by the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, also providing $8 million in co-financing, the UN-supported project marks a paradigm-shift in the way women are empowered as ‘change-agents’ to plan, implement, and manage climate-resilient solutions to safeguard livelihoods and lives in the Least Developed Country.

A coalition of partners, mobilized by the UN Development Programme, will support the Government.

The project will provide assistance to 25,000 women and girls in Satkhira and Khulna to adopt resilient livelihoods, while ensuring reliable, safe drinking water for 130,000 people through community-managed rainwater harvesting solutions. It will also seek to strengthen the participation of women in last-mile dissemination of gender-responsive early warnings and continued monitoring and adaptation of livelihoods to evolving climate risks.

A key aspect focuses on enhancing women’s access to markets and finance. In addition to training in business development, the project will link women’s producer groups to business via networking activities (including through Public-Private Initiative platforms to be established at local level), and will provide support to access credit from the financial sector. In addition, the project will link women’s producer groups to market.

Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, and National Designated Authority for Bangladesh to Green Climate Fund, Mr. Kazi Shofikul Azam, welcomed the approval saying, “The Government of Bangladesh is committed to tackling climate change in the context of its overall development framework and its goals under Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. This newly approved project contributes towards priorities outlined in Bangladesh’s Nationally Determined Contributions and climate change strategies, including its Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and existing Climate Change Gender Action Plan”.

Through the project, the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs will be integrating gender and climate change across sectors. The Department of Public Health Engineering will be scaling-up climate-resilient solutions to ensure safe drinking water across coastal communities.

Extensive consultations with non-government organizations, civil society, donors and communities informed the design of the project. The Dhaka-based International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCAD) played a key role in assessing the climate change impacts and adaptive responses to cope with evolving risks.

Dr. Saleemul Huq, ICCAD Director said, “Bangladesh ranks among the world’s one of the most vulnerable countries when it comes to climate change. Women are disproportionately affected by the impacts.  As household managers, women are primarily responsible for producing food for the family, as well as securing household water and energy. Limited control over resources and decision-making often puts extra burden on women. Through this initiative of Green Climate Fund and UNDP, the situation is expected to get better.”

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Bangladesh, Mia Seppo, said, “We know that the poor disproportionately bear the risks and impacts of climate change. Without the ready means to adapt, they are also disproportionately vulnerable.”

“In the context of UNDP’s new Strategic Plan, UNDP is proud to work side-by-side with the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, and to bring together a coalition of partners to deliver this project. Under this project, women will more in command of their, and their communities’, own future.”

Over the past several years, the contributions and needs of women in relation to climate change has been moving steadily up the global agenda. Last August, the Green Climate Fund, together with UN Women, released its first gender manual on how to include women, girls, men and boys from socially excluded and vulnerable communities in all aspects of climate finance. At COP23 in Bonn in November, the Fiji Presidency announced the first Gender Action Plan.

The announcement at the Green Climate Fund’s 19th Board Meeting in Songdo, Korea follows the Green Climate Fund’s approval of over $2.8 million in support of Bangladesh’s formulation and advancement of a National Adaptation Plan process.

Implementation of the project ‘Enhancing adaptive capacities of coastal communities, especially women, to cope with climate change induced salinity’ is set to begin in July, 2018.

For more information, please Click here.

Read more stories from UNDP Adaptation about women and climate change:

Cover photo by Nowshad Arefin on Unsplash

On International Women’s Day, Acclimatise celebrates its great team of women and their contributions to the company’s success!

United Nations led partnership with Green Climate Fund to support nearly 1 million farmers in Zambia

United Nations led partnership with Green Climate Fund to support nearly 1 million farmers in Zambia

US$137 million, 7-year project supported through UNDP in partnership with FAO and WFP works toward global goals for food security and poverty reduction.

The UN in Zambia (specifically the United Nations Development Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Food Programme) have joined forces together with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to assist the Government of Zambia in tackling serious climate change induced risks facing smallholder farmers.

The GCF Board approved US$32 million of climate finance in its board meeting this week, which together with US$125 million of co-financing leveraged by UNDP will support the Government of Zambia in building climate-resilient food security and poverty reduction measures for approximately 940,000 people.

Implemented by the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture, the US$137 of financing will strengthen the capacity of farmers to plan for climate risks that threaten to derail development gains, promote climate resilient agricultural production and diversification practices to improve food security and income generation, improve access to markets, and foster the commercialization of climate-resilient agricultural commodities.

In all, the Government of Zambia anticipates reaching over 3 million indirect beneficiaries through the project – approximately 18 percent of the total population – which will work in 16 districts within the Agro-Economical Regions of Mambwe, Nyimba, Chongwe, Luangwa, Chirundu, Rufunsa, Chama, Mafinga, Kazungula, Siavonga, Gwembe, Namwala, Shangombo, Senanga, Sesheke and Mulobezi.

“Farmers living in these districts are especially vulnerable to climate change risks, primarily increasing droughts, variability of rainfall and occasional floods. There is a high rate of poverty, meaning efforts to end hunger and poverty are at risk if we don’t take immediate action to adapt agricultural practices to changing climate conditions,” said Government of Zambia Permanent Secretary, National Development Planning Mr. Chola Chabala.

This intervention is a major contribution to meeting one of the key outcomes of the Seventh National Development Plan which deals with reducing poverty and vulnerability whilst contributing to economic diversification and job creation in Zambia.

The UN in Zambia, led by the United Nations Development Programme, and including FAO and WFP, working with national institutions like the Ministry of Agriculture and Zambia Meteorological Department, will deliver an integrated set of technical services that will help to advance key Sustainable Development Goal targets, especially in SDG2 and SDG13. The coalition will ensure that best practices from pilot climate resilience initiatives nurtured with the support of these organizations will be scaled-up to meet Government of Zambia’s targets on adapting its economy to climate change impacts.

Hunger and malnutrition are real and present risks in Zambia. Approximately 60 percent of people live below the poverty line, and 42 percent are considered extremely poor. According to WFP, over 350,000 people are considered food insecure, and roughly 40 percent of children experience stunted growth.  Climate change is expected to worsen these impacts by 30 percent by 2030, by 50 by 2050.

Given the unique role of women in agriculture and food provisioning, and their unique vulnerabilities to climate change, GCF resources will focus dedicated efforts on building climate resilience for female-headed houses and rural enterprises.

The project aligns with Zambia’s key development goals for poverty reduction and food security, as well as its goal to become a prosperous middle-income country by 2030.

Globally, efforts are underway to mobilize international finance for low-carbon climate-resilient development through climate finance mobilized through UNFCCC financing mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund. This project signals an important step to mobilize these funds in Zambia, scale-up pilot climate resilience projects, and work toward achieving Zambia’s Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement.

In fulfilling its contribution to the Paris Agreement – and global goals to limit temperature increases to 2 degrees while ensuring no one is left behind in terms of economic and social development – the project will promote the conservation of water, improve the use of irrigation technologies, and strengthen climate information services.

“The UN in Zambia is delighted that this US$32 grant from the Green Climate Fund and the US$125 million of co-financing leveraged by UNDP will contribute to improving food security in the face of climate variations and introducing poverty reduction measures for approximately 940,000 people in Zambia,” said UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Janet Rogan.

For additional information please contact Lavender Degre, or visit

Cover photo by Sxfwaancr7/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Guyana gets ready to access the Green Climate Fund

Guyana gets ready to access the Green Climate Fund

By Elisa Jiménez Alonso

Last week, the Office of Climate Change (OCC), which is part of Guyana’s Ministry of the Presidency (MotP), hosted its final workshop to collect feedback from relevant stakeholders on the proposed Country Work Programme. The finalised and approved programme will be submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as the country portfolio or pipeline of projects and programmes for GCF funding. Acclimatise was commissioned to support Guyana in the development of the Country Work Programme and with the in-country capacity building efforts for engagement with the GCF.

The workshop was facilitated by Acclimatise’s Maribel Hernández. The gathered feedback will be implemented into the finalised Country Work Programme which then will be submitted for approval to Minister of State Joseph Harmon. With his approval, the programme will then be sent to the GCF in order to access funding.

Janelle Christian, Head of the OCC, highlighted that Guyana is making a great effort and progressing significantly to build the country’s climate action.

“Many times, we are hard on ourselves with respect to the pace at which we go to address the challenges that we face as a nation, but we are proud to say that for the [Caribbean Community] CARICOM countries, Guyana was the first to have been approved by the GCF for readiness preparation and support of the [National Designated Authority] NDA,” she said.

Accessing GCF funding will greatly improve the country’s ability to climate-proof its development.

Maribel Hernández listening to stakeholder feedback at last week’s workshops.

Cover photo by MotP: Janelle Christian adresses the stakeholders at last week’s workshop.