COP22: Focus on Finance

Marrakech, 08 December 2016 - Finance was a major focus of the 22nd round UN Climate Change Conferences (COP22) in Marrakech this month. The conference built on the hard-won agreement last year in Paris to curb carbon emissions to limit the effects of climate change.

Although rich nations have pledged to mobilise $100 billion per year from 2020 for climate aid to the developing world, immediate gaps in finance for climate change adaptation in developing countries persist.

According to UN Environment’s Finance Gap Report, the cost for developing countries of adaptation alone could range from $140 billion to $300 billion by 2030, and from $280 billion to $550 billion by 2050 – up to five times higher than previously estimated.

During the negotiations, developing countries stressed the need for a clear roadmap on finance availability for climate adaptation measures. Linah Mohohlo of the Africa Progress Panel said, “African countries need to know when funds are available so that they can confidently plan their transition to a low-carbon economy and use the funds to attract co-financing.”

“The world has promised to help developing countries adapt to the disruption and hardship caused by changes such as altered rainfall patterns and rising sea levels,” UN Environment Executive Director, Erik Solheim said in a statement issued in Marrakech.

“We must keep that promise, narrow the adaptation finance gap and prevent it from widening further by redoubling our efforts to stabilise the world’s climate.”

The discussions in Marrakech reaffirmed the existing climate finance commitment, and also called or greater engagement of the private sector in adaptation finance.

Clarifying the roles and requirements of private finance in climate change mitigation and adaptation is an issue that governments and negotiators continue to struggle with. Scaling up financial flows to transformational scale can only be achieved by mobilising private finance. The UN Environment Finance Initiative, through its Demystifying Private Climate Finance series, provides insights and guidance around private finance mobilization for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The new UN Environment Finance Initiative report can be downloaded here.