Ministers and high-level representatives from Bhutan, The Gambia and Liberia today launched a 21-signature Ministerial Declaration in New York calling for “simplified” and “consistent” access to climate finance and the establishment of a consolidated funding modality for the UNCDF managed Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility, which they said would enable them to federate and sequence climate finance and scale up locally led adaptation actions in their countries - and many others - where LoCAL is being implemented.
The launch took place at a dedicated Climate Week NYC event and on the side lines of the UN General Assembly, which this year seeks to prioritise accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals and include commitments on environment and climate.
The declaration, made by some of the world’s most vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change, comes less than 100 days before the start of COP28, the annual UN climate summit that bring world leaders together to seek solutions to the climate crisis and grapple over questions of funding and reparations.
“The finance to at least build the minimum resilience should be available," said Hon. Rohey John-Manjang, Minister of Environment Climate Change and Natural Resources speaking at the today's event in UNCDF headquarters, New York. "My take as a Minister and as a LoCAL Ambassador is that this decision that we have all signed is completely fitting with the needs laid out in the latest IPCC reports," she added, referring to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which prepares assessment reports on climate change and response options.
“What I'm calling for is a smooth, successful sustainable financial flow - it should be guaranteed,” she added.
The LoCAL Facility provides a mechanism for channeling finance to local governments for locally led adaptation to the impacts of climate change, designed and managed by the UNCDF. Today, some 34 countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Pacific are designing or implementing their adaptation actions with the LoCAL Facility, which has mobilised over US $170 million for adaptation to date. The Ministerial Declaration is based on inter-governmental discussions held at a meeting of the 10th Annual LoCAL Board and Ministerial Meeting in May of this year.
"We see LoCAL as an integral part of the entire adaptation system of climate adaptation... that delivers at point of need," said Prof Wilson K Tarpeh Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency, Liberia who joined the event in New York. "LoCAL provides a mechanism for channeling climate finance to the community level to make adaptation a reality."
Today’s event adds momentum to ministers’ repeated calls for increased adaptation finance for African nations, Small Island Developing Sates (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries. Many speakers highlighted the fact that while their countries are feeling some of the most acute impacts of climate change, they, as pre-industrialised nations, have contributed the least to the carbon emissions driving the crisis.
"It was at the 10th LoCAL Board earlier this year that my minister, Hon Ugyen Dorji, Minister of Home Affairs, signed a Ministerial Declaration calling for action towards reforming the international climate finance architecture to respond to climate change and ensure simplified access to climate finance," said Kado Zangpo, Director of Local Government and Disaster Management, Bhutan, who represented Hon Dorji and joined the event by video-link. "In line with that declaration we again call for the strengthening of the LoCAL Facility and the establishment of a consolidated funding instrument that can support countries to scale up their adaptation action with LoCAL."
David Jackson, Director of Local Transformative Finance at UNCDF hosted today's event, stating: "Ministers from 21 countries have added their signatures to this Ministerial Declaration are showing their clear and shared political will. It is important that we build on this document and progress on these action points and calls for action at the coming COP28."
The Annual Conference of the Parties, or COP28, is an international climate summit that brings together world leaders to tackle climate change, including agreements around adaptation and climate financing. Demand from countries wanting to implement or scale up their adaptation actions with UNCDF LoCAL currently outstrips delivery and is hampered by funding flow requirements that often times earmark funds for specific time bound projects, countries or regions, hindering flexible, sustained, and responsive action.
The LoCAL Ministerial Declaration, launched today, is also signed by co-Chairs of the LoCAL Board:
- Madeleine Diouf Sarr, Head of the Climate Change Division in Senegal's Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and current Chair of the LDC Group.
- Agnes Mary Molande, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malawi to the United Nations
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).