$160 mn pledged to fight climate change in poor nations

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New York, Sep 27 (IANS) Citing an urgent need to fortify global defences against climate change, six donor countries have renewed their funding commitment to the world’s poorest nations through the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), managed by the Global Environment Facility.

Following a high-level meeting convened by the GEF during UN Climate Week in New York, the governments of Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden pledged a combined total of $160 million in new funding for the LDCF, and Britain committed to exploring new and additional support to the fund.

The government of Canada also made a commitment of $7.5 million to the LDCF at August’s G7 Summit in Biarritz in France.

The LDCF financing will be distributed as grants to urgently safeguard agriculture, improve disaster readiness, and protect community livelihoods in the face of growing threats from storms, droughts, and floods in least developed countries.

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF, welcomed the commitment of both donor and developing countries to quickly scale up climate action.

“It is heartening to see our GEF partners coming together to support an urgent scale-up of adaptation action in the world’s poorest countries,a she said.

“As we ramp up our efforts for adaptation through those new commitments, we must be mindful of recommendations in the recently released report from the Global Commission on Adaptation. It calls for revolutions in three areas — understanding, planning and finance — in order to ensure that climate impacts, risks, and solutions are being factored into decision making at all levels,” Ishii said.

The Least Developed Countries Fund provides adaptation support where it is most urgently needed, notably the world’s poorest countries where vulnerabilities to climate change are so high.

The new LDCF financing will enable the GEF to respond to requests for grant support for projects that can build resilience against climate change variability and disasters, which can threaten food supplies, housing, transportation, energy, water, and other vital areas.

Maria Flachsbarth, Germany’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, said: “Climate change destroys opportunities for development. Each additional tenth of a degree of global warming dramatically increases the risks and problems on our planet.

“The Least Developed Countries are particularly hard hit. They are only minor contributors to climate change. That is why the Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF) is a central element of our policies. I am very pleased to be able to announce today that the German government will be making another significant contribution to the Fund in the amount of 50 million euros.”

“The LDCF is the only multilateral fund fully dedicated to climate action in LDCs,a said Bhutan National Environment Commission Secretary and LDC Group Chair Phuntsho Wangdi.

“The partnership that the fund embodies is important, as we need a partner that understands and is able to meet the real needs of the LDCs quickly. With LDCF finance, the LDCs are putting in place the building blocks and catalytic support we need to adapt.”

The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) was established based on a 2001 decision from the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), along with the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).

Managed by the GEF, the LDCF supports least-developed countries in their efforts to adapt to the effects of climate change.

To date, the LDCF has supported 282 projects in least developed countries, with approximately $1.3 billion in grant resources.

–IANS

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