The Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+) will further boost its support for developing countries, using policy dialogue and technical cooperation to increase their capacity to address climate change, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy said at a GCCA+ side event at the 20th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Highlighting the European Union’s (EU) continuous efforts to help the most vulnerable, Miguel Arias Cañete, participated in the GCCA+ event “Building resilience to climate change in vulnerable countries and promoting dialogue on international climate change policy towards 2015 and beyond", held in Lima on 8th December. The session was co-organised with the European Commission and the Secretariat of the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) Group of States.
“Policy dialogue on climate change is crucial to allow us, partner countries and donors, to better understand each other, to identify areas of convergence and to build confidence and trust,” the Commissioner said.
“This obviously has to be backed by action,” he added, noting that the GCCA+ has more than 50 programmes either ongoing or about to be launched, covering 38 countries and 8 regions.
Building on the work undertaken by the GCCA (2008-2013), the GCCA+ feeds back lessons learnt and adopts a more targeted approach in line with developing countries’ needs through various modalities such as project approach and budget support.
“This is what the GCCA+ intends to do: build on the robust basis, adapt to the new context and effectively address needs of the most vulnerable,” Commissioner Cañete said.
The Commissioner also announced the approval of new funding worth €30 million, to be administered by the Alliance and to benefit climate programmes in Rwanda, Cambodia, Niger, Mali, the Seychelles, Rwanda, and Pacific. The GCCA+ is set to allocate €370 million by 2020.
The talks in Peru were held in the run-up to the widely anticipated climate conference in Paris, where a new agreement, covering all countries, will be signed.
The side-event was divided into two parts – a High-level panel, including the Commissioner’s opening speech followed by panelists’ responses, and a technical panel, which included presentations from representatives from the Intra-ACP GCCA regional organizations in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific regions.
The High-level panel highlighted the need for strong partnerships and further regional and international cooperation. The panelists, including two ministers, expressed appreciation for what the GCCA has achieved so far. They also discussed the need for further cooperation on the way towards a binding agreement in Paris.
Among the panelists were :
- The Honourable Taukeline Finikaso, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour of Tuvalu
- Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu , Minister of Water and Environment from Uganda.
- Dr. Melchior Mataki, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology - Solomon Islands
- Mr. Bruce Kijiner, Director, Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination (OEPPC), Office of the President – Marshall Isalnds;
- H.E. Ms. Janine Felson, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations, Permanent Mission of Belize to the United Nations;
- And the EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy
The technical panel included a presentation by Etienne Coyette, a Policy Officer at DG International Cooperation and Development. Mr Coyette explained how the GCCA+ covers five areas – adaptation to climate change, mainstreaming climate change into policies and budgetary frameworks, Disaster Risk Reductions, the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and mitigation, where it benefits poverty reduction objectives.
He highlighted the impressive impact the Alliance has had in the developing world. Since starting its work in just four pilot countries in 2008, the initiative has become one of the world’s biggest climate change initiatives.
A Q&A, which followed the presentation, included questions related to issues of scale, the role of GCCA+ in capacity building, modalities for countries to get support, interaction with regional organisations, and the possibilities of adding new priorities to the five GCCA priorities.
“The GCCA+ is in inception phase so it is open to suggestions from partners. It wants to add value to what others are doing,” Mr Coyette said. “Throughout its work, it builds on best practice, sharing experience and knowledge. The challenge therefore is how to use that knowledge.”