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Climate finance mobilization required to strengthen NDC ambition, says new report

02/12/2016
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The African Development Bank (AfDB) Climate Investment Funds (CIF) unit released in November a new study which details regional member countries’ progress in ratifying the Paris Agreement and their efforts to transition Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The report found that in many countries, projected contributions will be conditional based upon receipt of climate finance support.

On 4 November 2016, the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the average global temperature increase by 2100 to well below 2°C through adaptation, mitigation and financing efforts, entered into force ahead of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22). The Agreement calls for INDCs—national climate mitigation and adaptation plans to constrain harmful greenhouse gas emissions—to be transitioned to NDCs, which will form the foundation of the post-Kyoto multilateral climate regime.

Half of the African countries have already taken the first steps toward ratification of the Paris Agreement and thirteen of those countries are pilots under the USD 8.3 billion CIF. As an implementing agency of the CIF geared to helping African countries achieve NDCs, the AfDB undertook the study, Transitioning from INDCs to NDCs in Africa,” to understand the challenges countries face with respect to ratifying the Paris Agreement. Based upon extensive interviews with government, private sector and civil society stakeholders, the study provides an overview of regional (I)NDCs from CIF pilot countries. It further addresses efforts in transitioning toward NDCs and discusses dedicated policy planning and measures underway to implement and achieve INDC goals in six focus countries—Cameroon, Ethiopia, South Africa, The Gambia, Tunisia and Uganda. The countries were selected as case studies based on criteria including size, development status, geographic spread, language, ambition, and CIF engagement.

Gareth Phillips, AfDB Chief Climate Change and Green Growth, stated, “As countries look to integrate their development paths with their commitments under the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the AfDB is reshaping its institutional approach to bolster that shift. AfDB-CIF support is focusing on helping countries fulfill their NDCs, successfully balance mitigation and adaptation in their climate responses, and maneuver among various climate funding sources.”

According to the study, support in preparing funding proposals will help alleviate a major impediment to operationalizing mitigation commitments, empowering governments to view climate finance as an accessible and reliable vehicle to mobilize future infrastructure and development investments. And, as CIF activities require the potential for either scalable pilot activities or sectoral reform, they are more likely to result in transformational impact required by many funds, such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

“Once countries witness the mobilization of climate funding, confidence is expected to increase, which will likely strengthen NDC ambitions. Moving forward, in addition to mobilizing financing, the AfDB is well-placed to help fully integrate CIF-funded activities with (I)NDCs and harmonize monitoring, reporting and verification systems for NDC reporting,” AfDB Consultant, Axel Michaelowa highlighted.

The study also noted that some governments have begun to view their NDC not only as a binding contribution to global climate action, but at the same time, as an opportunity to showcase the country’s attractiveness for investments into a low-carbon future.

With approved projects totaling USD 2.1 billion, today’s AfDB-CIF portfolio contains 39 policy-based Investment Plans which link their climate actions to their national development policies in various stages of preparation and development. Of these, 21 contain a total of 41 projects going through the range of development from preparation to implementation.

About the Climate Investment Funds (CIF)

Established in 2008, as one of the largest fast-tracked climate financing instruments in the world, the USD 8.3 billion CIF provides developing countries with grants, concessional loans, risk mitigation instruments, and equity that leverage significant financing from the private sector, multilateral development banks and other sources. Five MDBs – the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, and World Bank Group – implement CIF-funded projects and programs.