Global Environment Facility dedicates a Climate Fund for SIDS2022-05-17 AOSIS
New York – 17 May 2022 – The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has become the first UN climate fund with a dedicated window to the 30 Small Island Developing States SIDS that are not also Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This is a significant development for this group of countries that, although exceptionally exposed to climate impacts, must compete with all developing countries for access to multilateral climate funds and are often barred from bilateral support due to high per capita GDP rankings. This decision came as the GEF recently reached consensus among donors and recipient representatives on its new strategy for the two adaptation funds managed by its Secretariat: the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). “When faced with damage due to climate change induced weather events it often takes the impacted state months or even years to rebuild and recover fiscally. This should not be. SIDS need to be able to build back immediately after an extreme climate event — AOSIS hopes that this new financing strategy will address this issue and fill this financing gap for SIDS,” AOSIS said. The strategy, which covers the 2022 – 2026 period, is to be formally endorsed at the 32nd LDCF/SCCF Council meeting in late June. It proposes innovations that are exciting and relevant for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). These include a dedicated window for adaptation funding of at least $90 million ($3 million per SIDS) for non-LDC SIDS under the SCCF, and an increase in the ceiling of LDCF access for LDC SIDS to $20 million per country during the ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA AOSIS CHAIRMANSHIP 2021-2022 ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES 2022-2026 period. This figure responds to the Glasgow Climate Pact decision at COP26 for developed countries to double adaptation finance by 2025. The GEF Strategy for the SCCF recognizes that: SIDS are among the most vulnerable countries on the planet to adverse impacts of climate change … [yet] SIDS do not have a dedicated funding opportunity for their adaptation needs and compete for access to climate adaptation support … It is evident that there are gaps and disparities across the adaptation funding received by SIDS, particularly non-LDC SIDS. Therefore, a priority area under the SCCF during GEF-8 will be a geographic focus on SIDS, in the spirit of “leave no SIDS behind”. “This is a timely development as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change impacts combined have created a debt crisis for many SIDS. In response to last April’s IPCC report on the Mitigation of Climate Change AOSIS called for an increased grant and concessional funding for climate action for small islands and this step by the GEF tells us that our voices are being heard — and SIDS’ vulnerabilities are being acknowledged by the global bureaucracy,” said AOSIS. The LDCF and SCCF were set up in response to guidance from the 2001 Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and responds to the need for prompt support of adaptation efforts for climate vulnerable states within the developing world. This is reflected in the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which revealed that unavoidable sea level rise will bring impacts resulting in loss of coastal ecosystems and ecosystem services, groundwater salinisation, flooding and damage to coastal infrastructure. Livelihoods, public health, food, and water are also, threatened. The brunt of those impacts is anticipated to be felt by LDCS and SIDS that are most susceptible to climate and other shocks while being hugely dependent on climate-sensitive sectors, including agriculture and tourism. The LDCF remains the only fund that is dedicated solely to supporting climate adaptation action in LDCs. Some 51 LDCs have, since September 2021, accessed $1.65 billion for 360 projects for the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action and towards the National Adaptation Plan process through projects and enabling activities. The LDCF also supports global initiatives for the preparation of the National Adaptation Planning process or all LDCs and supports the implementation of the LDC work programme. The SCCF, which is being optimised through the enhancement of focused support, finances programmes and measures related to climate change adaptation and technology transfer to all eligible developing countries. Its portfolio includes 88 projects for adaptation and technology transfer, for a total of $364 million, also as of September 2021. The dedication of the SCCF’s Window A solely for SIDS climate change adaptation is the first multilateral fund under the UNFCCC. Access the GEF Programming document here: https://www.thegef.org/sites/default/files/documents/2022-04/GEF_LDCF.SCCF_SM.03_01_Pro gramming_Strategy.pdf About AOSIS: Since 1990, AOSIS has represented the interests of the 39 small island and low-lying coastal developing states in international climate change, sustainable development negotiations and processes. As a voice for the vulnerable, its mandate is more than amplifying marginalised voices as it also advocates for these countries’ interests. In terms of size, AOSIS closely resembles the countries it represents on the global stage, but often punches far above its weight, negotiating historic global commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions, among other achievements.
Sub Topic: Adaptation