Adaptation Fund continues fundraising mission
THE ADAPTATION Fund (AF) through which developing countries, including Jamaica, have had concrete climate change adaptation projects and programmes financed - is continuing the hunt to raise money to sustain its work.
"I have been visiting donors myself, talking to donors during the SPs (Small Sized Projects and Programmes) in Bonn, and after I made a couple of trips and we keep in touch with them. We are hopeful we will get some additional funding, but it is yet too early [to know] how much and from which countries," said Marcia Levaggi, manager for the AF Board Secretariat.
The AF typically receives financial pledges at or around the time of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held annually between November and December.
At COP21, held in Paris last December, it received pledges to the tune of US$87 million from Sweden, Luxembourg, the Belgium Regions of Flanders and Wallonia, and Italy.
The pledge from Italy, Levaggi said, is especially encouraging.
"It is the first time that Italy contributes to the fund. They are engaged with the fund. They have come to observe our (finance readiness) seminar last week and we have an Italian board member participating in the fund for the first time," she revealed.
Financed in part with a two per cent share of proceeds from Clean Development Mechanism project activities, the fund encountered financial challenges a few years ago as the market for carbon credits plunged.
It was forced to look at its other funding stream - voluntary pledges from donor governments.
Today, they look to entice these contributions by, among other things, emphasising the AF's value at a time when the buzz is about the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
"There is a clear complementarity between the two funds that will benefit the operationalisation of the Paris Agreement and the work of the GCF. If the AF disappears, there will be a gap," Levaggi said.
"The AF is filling an adaptation finance gap so it is important to keep the fund funded - and funded to a level that provides an option for countries that have a national implementing entity (NIE) because these countries have invested time and material resources to become NIEs," she added.
THE PARIS AGREEMENT
The Paris Agreement is the new global climate deal that aims, among other things, to hold the increase in the global average temperature to "well below 2?C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5?C above pre-industrial levels, recognising that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change".
"The AF, we believe, can contribute to the operationalisation of the Paris Agreement. After the Paris Agreement, adaptation is considered one of the key components of the global response to climate change, alongside mitigation and finance," Levaggi explained.
"The AF is a fully operational financial mechanism that is already funding concrete adaptation and has a strong capacity-building component that has proved effective, particularly through the direct access modality and support provided through the NIEs and countries that will wish to become an NIE through the readiness programme," she added.
The AF will also be beneficial in the realisation of the intended nationally determined contributions of countries to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to Levaggi.
"So it is important to keep the fund running because although the GCF is now the main focus of attention, we believe the AF can complement the efforts of the GCF that can build on the AF experience to fund projects at the higher scale and replicate and upscale the efforts of the AF. The GCF has already built upon the AF by accrediting, through a fast track, some of our own NIEs," she said.