Experts meet to Drive Forward Action on Adaptation Finance
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27 June 2019
Author :   Friday Phiri
UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, speaking during a media briefing at SB50 in Bonn

 

BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - The world is already experiencing changes in average temperature, shifts in the seasons and an increasing frequency of extreme weather events and other climate change impacts and slow onset events.

Accessible, adequate, and predictable finance is thus critical for developing and implementing adaptation action, from the local to the regional level, around the globe.

At the UN Climate talks in Bonn, leading authorities on adaptation and finance have convened for the 2019 Technical Expert Meeting on Adaptation (TEM-A) to survey the adaptation finance landscape and discuss concrete actions that can help it better serve adaptation action for vulnerable countries, groups and communities.  

Now in its fourth and penultimate year, this year’s TEM-A is focusing on the topic of Adaptation finance, including the private sector.

“Firstly, dedicating two days to this technical session on adaptation finance is a very progressive move,” says Augustine Njamnshi, Chair of Political and Technical Affairs of the , Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA). “While it is good that experts are exploring all the possibilities including the private sector, our view is that focus should be so much on public financing. Adaptation remains key for Africa and this area has been struggling as far as finance is concerned. We hope the workshop will highlight concrete ideas that will revamp the operationalization of the adaptation pillar as we get to COP 25 later this year.”

According to available statistics, developing countries already face an adaptation finance gap, which will only grow in the absence of increased public and private adaptation finance, according to UN Environment.

The 2016 UNEP Adaptation Finance Gap Report estimated that adaptation finance costs in 2030 are likely to range from USD 140-300 billion per annum, requiring finance that is approximately 6 to 13 times greater than international public finance for adaptation as of now.

In the first week of the climate talks, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa urged action adding that “this was a climate emergency and that we must respond in kind.”
“Nations are not on track to achieving their goals. They’re not even close. We have one ultimate goal as a civilization if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change: to limit global temperatures to 1.5 degrees. We are dreadfully off course,” she said.

While industrialised countries immediate focus is mitigation—cutting their carbon emissions, the developing country parties are pushing for adaptation.

Thus, throughout the TEM-A, panelists and attendees are looking to guide policymakers and practitioners towards unlocking more of the required adaptation finance. Representing various sectors and regions, the experts are drawing out valuable insights and illustrative examples throughout seven sessions addressing topics from emerging sources of adaptation finance, to assessing the impact of adaptation finance, to financing the commercialization of adaptation technology solutions.

In recognition of the important role of the private sector, both to provide adaptation finance but also to seek and deploy it for its own adaptation needs, mobilizing the private sector forms an important thread of discussion running through all the sessions. Speakers and experts from the private sector are also in attendance to share their experiences and ideas.
It is however the private sector narrative that has not settled well with African Civil society and other like-minded campaigners from the global south.

They believe the heavy involvement of the private sector in climate finance mechanism especially for adaption waters down its essence, and is likely to further burden the poorest communities who are at the fore front of the climate crisis.

The TEM-A is the cornerstone of the technical examination process on adaptation, which was established in 2015 to identify concrete opportunities for strengthening resilience, reducing vulnerabilities, and increasing the understanding and implementation of adaptation actions.

Each year, the case studies and good practices from the meeting are reflected in a technical paper and summary for policymakers, and help sow the seeds of strengthening pre-2020 adaptation action.

The meeting is organized jointly by the Subsidiary Bodies, guided by the High-Level Champions, and conducted by the Adaptation Committee with the goal of bolstering adaptation action.

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