Earth Today | Growing financial support for Adaptation Fund
THE ADAPTATION Fund, which bankrolls projects that help developing countries, such as Jamaica, adapt to climate change, was recently pledged more than €600,000 (J$91 million) that should help to prolong its operations.
The pledge that came from the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium raises momentum for the fund, which broke its single-year resource mobilisation record during the UN Conference of the Parties (COP) 23 Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, last November. This, as it celebrated its 10th anniversary and advanced towards formally serving the landmark Paris Agreement when member countries of the Kyoto Protocol decided it 'shall serve' the agreement in a milestone decision.
The Brussels Capital-Region's pledge, combined with those announced during COP 23 from Germany, Sweden, Italy, the Walloon Region of Belgium, and first-time contributor Ireland, grows the fund's total in new commitments raised to approximately US$95.5 million, more than the US$80 million target it had set for the year.
SUPPORT VULNERABLE COUNTRIES
"In 2017, where the COP 23 has been chaired by the Fiji islands, it is even more significant for the Brussels Region to support the most vulnerable countries. We therefore are honoured to dedicate this year a large part of our financial contribution to the Adaptation Fund," said Madam Celine Fremault, Brussels-Capital Region's minister for environment and energy.
This marks the fourth time that the Brussels-Capital Region has committed capital to the fund. Its initial pledge of €1.2 million in 2013 was the first to a multilateral climate fund from a regional government. This has become an important trend as subnational governments, the private sector and national governments are more often mobilising their collective efforts to help address global climate finance needs, given the rising urgency of climate change.
They followed the initial pledge with contributions of €0.5 million in 2014 and €2.5 million in 2016.
"We thankfully welcome this widening support for the Fund, with six contributors now stepping forward in 2017, including first-time contributor Ireland," said Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) chair Michael Kracht.
The fund initially relied on proceeds from the sale of Certified Emission Reduction credits for adaptation through the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism as its primary funding source, but has depended largely on voluntary public and private contributions since the global carbon market dropped sharply in 2012.
"We are very grateful to the Brussels-Capital Region, and this strengthens our growing base of support and ability to reach even more vulnerable communities with urgently needed adaptation solutions," said Mikko Ollikainen, manager of the AFB Secretariat.
"The decision by Parties during COP 23 /Kyoto Protocol that the fund shall serve the Paris Agreement also verified what the Fund has already been doing to help operationalise the goals of the agreement through the concrete, localised adaptation projects it funds in vulnerable countries and building countries' national capacities to adapt to climate change with its pioneering direct access-modality," he added.