By Imelda V. Abano
Climate adaptation funding for vulnerable countries, alongside mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, has emerged as one of the top issues at the climate change conference in Madrid in December 2019. And with climate-related event on the rise, experts estimate that huge investments between $110 and $275 billion annually is needed to protect vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate change.
To address the challenges in strengthening the resilience of developing countries to the impacts of climate change such as rising seas, higher temperatures, worsening droughts and flooding and other impacts, various financial mechanisms are crucial.
“ Finance is an important part of achieving climate goals. We need to mobilize the society, business, academia and development institutions to get support for our coordinated effort in addressing climate change,” said Gustavo Alberto Fonseca, the Director of Programs at the Global Environment Facility.
Speaking with a group of journalists through the Internews Earth Journalism Network’s Climate Change Media Partnership during the 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) climate change conference, Fonseca explained that the GEF for instance supports adaptation through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).
As of June 2019, the two funds which were established in 2001, granted 360 adaptation projects in 117 countries with a nearly $1.7 billion in grant funding benefiting over 28 million people in least developed countries and all developing countries.
“ The GEF plays a key role in financing adaptation as an operating entity of the financial mechanism to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and we particularly believe that finance is vital in the global effort to combat climate change,” Fonseca added.
The GEF was established in 1992 Rio Earth Summit and has since then provided over $18.1 billion in co-financing for more than 4,500 projects in 170 countries.
In Madrid, the GEF has launched the ‘Global E-Mobility Program’ to help 17 developing countries deploy electric vehicles as a way to improve air quality and reduce fossil fuel dependency. The $33 million program is in coordination with the European Commission’s new E-Mobility Solutions Plus Project.
Three regional platforms will be established to support the transition to electric mobility in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Fonseca said that by 2050, there would be twice as many vehicles on the road globally mostly in developing countries where air pollution is already a major challenge in many cities.
“ We see tremendous benefit from governments opting to phase out internal combustion engines, both in terms of lower emissions and improved quality of life. The GEF is delighted to help create scale for such efforts through this programme,” Fonseca said in a statement.