Ministers for quality adaptation finance under the spotlight at COP27
At the COP27 Resilience Hub on 12 November 2022, the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance and climate vulnerable countries hosted a ministerial event. At the event, members jointly pushed for stronger political ambition and commitment on adaptation finance, with a particular focus on highlighting the importance of good quality adaptation finance.
Since the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance was established in September 2021, members – including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom as well as the African Development Bank - have been championing increases in the proportional level of adaptation finance, to achieve greater balance with mitigation finance, and working to improve quality and accessibility of adaptation finance to ensure it reaches those most in need.
At the COP27 event, the Champions Group made or reiterated specific announcements, including:
- The Netherlands reiterated its announcement that it will increase its annual climate finance to 1.8 billion euros by 2025 and as part of this endeavour will double public adaptation finance and continue to allocate more than half of our public, fully grant-based climate finance to adapta-tion with a focus on the most vulnerable countries. Responding to the call by African leaders to invest more in climate resilience, the Netherlands announced a contribution of EUR 100 million euros to the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme through the climate action window of the African Development Fund.
- Canada reiterated its intention to fund a new $10 million initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations that aims to promote climate-smart agriculture and agriculture biodiversity practices to help rural communities in Aswan, Beheira, and Kafr El Sheikh, Egypt expand their capacity to adapt to climate change. Canada looks forward to work-ing with the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the Ministry of Water Re-sources and Irrigation, the Ministry of Environment, and the National Council for Women, as well as agricultural co-operatives, farmers and water users’ associations, and rural women’s groups to implement this project.
Canada also announced that it is joining the US, Norway, Ita-ly, the UK, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Finland, Denmark, and Austria in the Partnership Com-pact for the Least Developed Countries (LDC) 2050 Vision, in support of the LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR). LIFE-AR is putting local people and communities at the center of climate adaptation efforts in a shift away from the 'business-as-usual' ap-proach to climate finance. This initiative is driven by equality between donor and recipient countries, integration to deliver whole-of-society programs, ownership of solutions by local communities, and inclusion - which are at the core of Canada's approach to climate finance.
- Germany joins in these efforts by announcing – subject to parliamentary approval - EUR 40 million for the new Climate Action Window of the African Development Fund which will both help to fill the climate financing gap of African LDCs with a strong focus towards adaptation fi-nance and to enhance their capacity to access climate finance from other sources.
- The United Kingdom announcements included a tripling of adaptation finance from £500 million in 2019 to £1.5 billion in 2025 and a £200m contribution for adaptation to the Climate Action Window of the Africa Development Bank.
- Finland announced that it has endorsed the Principles for Locally Led Adaptation, joining more than 80 governments and institutions committed to getting finance and decision-making to the local level.
- Ireland aannounced €5 million in funding exclusively for adaptation action in LDCs and SIDS. This includes funding to the Least Developed Countries Fund; the newly established Window in the Special Climate Change Fund, which targets adaptation support in SIDS; and the African Development Bank.
- Belgium announced it will increase its annual climate finance from EUR125 million in 2021 to EUR138 million by 2024, maintaining its growth path, with a focus on adaptation grants based finance to support its African partner countries and least developed countries.
- Iceland announced that it was joining the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance, making it the 15th member to join and signalling growing momentum behind the Group’s and its ambition.
- Australia announced at COP27 AU$10 million for a community-based adaptation program in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, another example of its strong focus on adaptation – around 70 per cent of Australia’s bilateral and regional climate finance supports adaptation, reflecting the needs of its development partners.
- Italy aims to maintain the balance between mitigation and adaptation support, continuing to provide around 50% of its climate finance to adaptation, as since the year 2016. In 2020, Italy allocated 56% of its total climate finance to adaptation. Moreover, in 2021 Italy provided 150 million. Italy will nearly triple its total climate finance commitment to 1.4 billion dollars a year for the next 5 years.
Italy recently established the Italian Climate Fund, with an endowment of 840 million euro per year from 2022 to 2026 for climate action in developing countries. In 2021, Italy became the largest contributor to the Climate Investment Fund with € 150mn to fi-nance the “Nature, People and Climate Investment Program” aiming to tackle the multiple drivers and impacts of climate change, resulting from human activities on land resources and ecosystems services, in an integrated manner.
The Champions Group reiterated their commitment to work together with climate vulnerable coun-tries to respond to growing climate change adaptation needs, and issued a call for other climate fi-nance-providing countries who share the objectives of the champions group to join as new members.
“The pressing need to boost adaptation finance cannot be overstated. We need to mobilize more funding for adaptation and resilience but equally important is to ensure more of it reaches people and communities on the ground, especially the most marginalized groups such as women, youth and in-digenous peoples. Flexible and predictable financial flows are key to build the resilience of those who need it most. The work of the Champions Group is crucial in this regard as are the principles of Locally-led Adaptation that the Netherlands has endorsed and is currently working to implement.”
Kitty van der Heijden, Vice Minister International Cooperation.
“As the Climate Finance Delivery Plan Progress Report has shown, we must work not only on increas-ing the level of adaptation finance but also on improving access to it. An important initiative in this sense is the Climate Action Window that AfDB President Adesina presented this Tuesday here in Sharm-El-Sheikh: The new window will help African LDCs access international adaptation finance through capacity development and the preparation of bankable projects. 60 percent of the window’s budget is reserved for strategic adaptation investments. I am therefore happy that GER will be able to contribute – subject to final parliamentary approval - 40 Mio. Euro to this new window of the African Development Fund.”
Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Develop-ment.
“Climate change is the biggest long-term threat of our generation and is affecting the frequency, duration and intensity of severe weather events worldwide. Our investments in these important adaptation initiatives will help some of the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations. As climate change impacts and extreme weather become an ever-increasing part of our lives, it is critical that we take urgent action. That is why the Government of Canada has made adaptation and climate resilience a priority.”
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Canada continues to take action to assist developing countries transition to climate resilient economies and societies. Through our international climate finance support, Canada is helping protect lives and livelihoods beyond our borders. We recognize that climate change and biodiversity loss do not respect borders and that African countries, like Egypt, are at particular risk to their impacts. ”
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
“Adaptation is an important issue, and an issue that Iceland has been focusing on more and more. Iceland’s main priorities are matters that concern the mainstreaming of adaptation into different sec-tors or domains of society and governance. Notable vulnerabilities of interest to Iceland are those which are connected to ocean acidification, melting ice in glaciers and permafrost, sea-level rise and changes in precipitation.”
Benedikt Höskuldsson, Iceland’s Special Envoy for Climate
“I am delighted to see how membership of the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance has grown over the past 12 months. It demonstrates that the Group has been a crucial driver in strengthening ambition on adaptation finance. It is vital we continue this work and collaborate to address challenges to scaling up adaptation finance, access to funding and delivering quality finance.”
Colm Brophy Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora