Category: Climate Finance

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.
World Bank invests $4.5 billion to build urban climate change resilience

World Bank invests $4.5 billion to build urban climate change resilience

Last week, at the One Planet Summit in Paris, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and World Bank Group announced a new partnership that will provide technical and financial assistance to 150 cities all over the world. The $4.5-billion investment by the World Bank will finance sustainable initiatives and climate resilience programmes in these cities.

By developing bankable business plans, structuring public-private partnerships to crowd in private sector investment, monetizing increases in land values, and designing and implementing credit enhancement mechanisms to allow commercial financing to cities, the partnership will help countries leverage the private sector. To date, this partnership is the largest global alliance of cities committed to building urban climate change resilience.

“Cities are preparing today for the risks of climate change by increasing their resiliency and sustainability – and the World Bank’s financing will help them do more of this work,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities & Climate Change and Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors. “The fight against climate change is being led by cities and communities and it’s essential they have the funds to continue it.”

The lending will take place over the next three years under the umbrella of the World Bank’s City Resilience Program.

Photo by Charles Magnuson on Unsplash


Smart climate financing doesn’t just look at climate funds

Smart climate financing doesn’t just look at climate funds

By Marcela Tarazona, Oxford Policy Management

With the global costs of climate change adaptation estimated as up to $500 billion annually by 2050, it is vital that countries — particularly low- and middle-income countries — are able to source the finance needed to meet the challenge posed by future costs that require an investment today. While climate funds have traditionally been considered primary financing options, they only provide only a small percentage of the funds needed to address loss and damage costs emanating from climate change; we believe that a more comprehensive financing solution is necessary.

Financing Framework for Resilient Growth

Efforts to finance much needed climate change adaptation and mitigation programs in low- and middle-income countries all too often focus on international climate funds, arguably because climate impact has been seen as a niche concern requiring discrete funding channels. The limited size of climate funds and the large amounts of financing required for adaptation to eliminate damage related to climate change result in a financing gap. Climate funds for adaptation are currently pledged at only $17 billion, and are often slow to disburse; we have no option but to identify a more comprehensive solution that makes funds less central to financing if we are to successfully combat the predicted costs associated with climate change. By replacing small-piece, project-based climate finance from funds with holistic financing frameworks for resilient growth, and thereby not simply seeking additional and external sources of climate finance, it is possible to take a much broader outlook with less restriction in terms of applicability and budgeting. Financing Frameworks for Resilient Growth (FFRGs) offer a means of mainstreaming climate change into national budgets and planning.

Vitally, this starts with existing national budgets. We discovered during the OPM-led Action on Climate Today (ACT) programme, which trialled FFRGs, that differences in climate change expenditure (for instance, Nepal’s, Bihar’s, and Kerala’s is 0.2–0.3% of GDP while Assam’s is 1.3%) are chiefly caused by differences in sectoral priority within the budget. By working closely with governments and developing domestic capacity to integrate climate change into planning and budgeting (and to better measure and monitor relevant public expenditure), it is possible to use existing resources more effectively. This also gives greater national ownership and autonomy, as well as avoiding too much contingency on unpredictable funds.

This doesn’t solely mean ensuring, through appropriate analysis and monitoring, that scarce resources are allocated to proposals with the highest net benefits. It also means integrating climate change into a broader budget, emphasising the cross-cutting relevance of climate change to development policy and thereby helping to change common perceptions of climate change as a fringe issue. Resilient growth would thus (for example) combine budgetary considerations coherently from ministries of finance, planning, and environment, rather than just the third of these ministries. FFRGs can enable governments to monitor the adaptation benefits of budget spending and prioritise budget resources for resilient growth. In turn, this can feed into the successful implementation of the Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are currently often too dependent on international funding.

Achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13

Financing frameworks with greater nuance, and with national ownership, can also lead towards success with SDG 13 — ‘take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’ — and with the reporting on it. One of the indicators for this goal is the number of countries that have a national adaptation plan (NAP), for instance, and there is an important opportunity to integrate the NAP process with the SDG process in terms of country-level policies, planning, and activities. FFRGs can have the most impact in the implementation part of the NAP process, as well as at reporting, monitoring, and review stages. The greater focus there is on national budgeting and autonomous planning, the more coherently this financing will be with NAPs and NDCs, which are intrinsically and importantly nationally-determined.

Once we start thinking about climate financing more broadly and innovatively, not restricted to international funding options, it is possible to create greater national autonomy, more evidence-driven prioritisation, and ultimately a significant reduction in the environmental and financial damage and loss caused by climate change. Thinking outside of the box is the only way to ensure resilient growth.

Marcela Tarazona is a Principal Consultant in Climate Change and Disaster Risk at Oxford Policy Management. She is the Climate Finance Lead for ACT and the Director of the Energy and Economic Growth Programme, and is leading a discussion at the Development and Climate Day at COP 2017 on the use of FFRGs to increase accountability and transparency of adaptation finance.

This article was originally posted by OPM on and is shared with kind permission.
Cover photo by Aamir Mohd Khan/Pixabay (public domain).