What are the fundamentals of accessing climate funds?
Accessing funds to address climate impacts, including disaster risk reduction, is a global priority but is complex. The scale of the problem and issues to be addressed are considerable, and accessing funds must be approached in a structured and systematic way. It’s good to look at this firstly from a government perspective and then in parallel to drive solutions from a community level.
At the government level, it is important for governments to clearly announce and articulate their climate priorities and areas of climate impact and the issues they want to address, whether it’s rainfall and drought or its blue economy impact on oceans, for example.
When it comes to climate issues, there is a global weight of opinion as to what the priorities are. We know that we need to address carbon emissions, increase investment in renewable energy sources, and at the same time need to address sustainable investment and global health.
Those priorities relate directly to the safety and well-being of their populations, and they’re the ones that will tend naturally to have the highest priority or should have the highest priority with governments.
Once governments have decided on their priorities and have clear policies in place to support the changes, I think there are available funds from global institutions to help support them in working towards their priorities and delivering impact.
Accessing funds to address climate impacts, including disaster risk reduction, is a global priority but is complex.
However, I also think that in parallel to government response, we also need to encourage grassroots communities to actively engage in disaster risk reduction, particularly in trying to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
We need a whole-of-society approach if we are to make the overall impacts needed, especially with the deteriorating climate situation. I think that addressing the big impacts of climate change is also a community responsibility, as many of the world’s most vulnerable communities are also those most exposed to the risks of climate change.
Stakeholders need to ask how we are benchmarking ourselves regarding disaster risk reduction. How have we stood up and delivered since the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction was first implemented, and are we on track to achieving the Framework’s priorities? These are tough questions that need answering, and the reality is that we are falling short.
Looking at the international frameworks and evaluating how communities are doing now will give us a great deal of information. It will also help governments understand where to improve their climate and disaster strategies going forward.
What would be the starting point for governments to access private-sector funding?
Whether governments are approaching global specialist financial institutions such as the Green Climate Fund or traditional providers of long-term capital such as the life insurance sector, merchant banks, and investment houses, many lending institutions are already represented internationally and nationally. They’re the ones that can provide stable access to climate funding.
Another example is the United Nations Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero was formed at the 26th Conference of Parties and comprises 450 banks, insurers, and asset managers in 45 countries. They are initially the pathway to accessing climate funds and collectively control US $130 trillion in assets.
This alliance is particularly significant as this coalition is already committed to sustainable finance, green and blue investments. So those are the people that governments need to talk with in addition to the multilateral agencies such as World Bank and Asian Development Bank to acquire the funding needed to drive investment in climate change and disaster risk reduction at the sovereign, commercial, and grassroots levels.
ADPC spoke with Graham Clark at the Seventh session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2022) in Bali, Indonesia.