Donors urged to honour their ODA commitments; local ownership is key; new and additional money for adaptation is needed together with effective global funding mechanisms. These are the some of the Commission's conclusions to help people adapt to the already visible effects of climate change.
Fighting poverty and fighting climate change are the ultimate issues of our time. They are inseparable and have to be addressed together, says Ms Gunilla Carlsson, Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and Chair of the international Commission on Climate Change and Development.
The Commission's final report is presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today in New York.
Emphasizing that context matters, the Commission has studied climate change impacts in vulnerable environments in different parts of the world. Cambodia, Mali and Bolivia have different exposure to climate risks; they have different political and governance characteristics; hence they will require different solutions to adapt to climate change effects.
For the poorest communities the priority is to build people's adaptive capacity and resilience - their ability to manage risks and shocks. In richer environments, adaptation will emphasize technical measures that might not have been necessary without climate change. In practice, each country will require a mix of human and technical measures - the challenge will be to get the balance right.
Institutions have a crucial role to play everywhere. They mediate resources and services, through them needs are expressed and accountability exercised. "We cannot continue to work in silos and with the gaps between institutions that so often prevent coordinated and coherent action. Climate change affects all sectors - we must consequently work across all of them," Minister Carlsson says.
Most importantly, climate change actions, development planning and disaster risk reduction must come together. This requires that they are led from the highest political and organizational level.
The Commission calls for the mobilization of new and additional climate adaptation money now, but not at the expense of ongoing development programs. By additional, the Commission means additional to the commitment of 0,7 % of GNI for ODA. The concept of additionality applies to the raising of funds but does not prescribe how new funds must be spent.
Priority should be given to the most vulnerable countries - African and small island states in particular. We must support existing National Adaptation Programs of Action as entry points to long term integrated plans and strategies.
Because the creation of new mechanisms might delay essential action, the Commission recommends a two-step approach to mobilizing new and additional funds for adaptation in developing countries.
As a first step, donors are urged to immediately mobilize USD 1-2 billion to assist vulnerable, low-income countries that already suffer from climate change impacts.
In a second step, countries must agree on a mechanism with democratic and efficient governance, and the necessary flexibility to cater for the variety of needs. At the national level, countries must be able to receive and allocate funds from multiple sources with a minimum of transaction costs. And local government and organizations must have access to the resources they need.
The Commission finds the current proliferation of financing mechanisms for adaptation problematic; it creates a coherence problem and puts pressure on the management capacity of developing countries. No further vertical funds should be created for adaptation.
While more work is required to better estimate adaptation needs, there are promising options proposed to raise funds. Some could bring between USD 5 and USD 15 additional billion a year - which is in the lower range of estimated needs.