Adaptation Fund Board Chair Naresh Sharma addressed the delegates during the CMP plenary on 9 November on the work of the Fund, noting that it has a project pipeline totaling US$200 million. He said that 25 accredited national implementing entities are under Direct Access, which enables developing countries to build their own capacity to adapt to climate change by accessing finance and designing projects directly through the entities.
Sharma said the number of approved adaptation projects in vulnerable communities has increased to 55, benefiting more than 3.7 million people in 48 countries, and said the Fund has set a US$80 million resource mobilization target through the end of 2016. He underscored that the Fund’s roadmap to participating in the Paris Agreement is crucial, welcomed ongoing discussions on a process for the Fund to serve the Paris Agreement, and expressed hope that countries would support this process and complete the roadmap.
The Fund provides an update of its activities at each session of the CMP (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol), as COP22 convenes nearly 200 countries to press for swifter action on climate change.
“The Fund has never been more in demand [with a project pipeline totaling US$ 200 million]. It is delivering effectively on its mandate and is already serving the operationalization of the Paris Agreement,” Sharma said in the speech before COP22 President Salaheddine Mezouar, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and a plenary of country and observer group delegations. “Our pioneering work on Direct Access is a factor leading to the increased demand. It represents a major advance in climate finance, is successfully built upon and replicated by other Funds and is making an essential contribution to national adaptation priorities.”
The Fund now has 25 accredited national implementing entities (NIEs) under Direct Access, which allows developing countries to build their own capacity to adapt to climate change by accessing finance and designing projects directly through NIEs. This number includes the accreditation of Armenia’s Environmental Project Implementation Unit as the first direct access entity of any climate fund in Eastern Europe.
Additionally, the Fund’s number of approved concrete adaptation projects in vulnerable communities has risen to 55, benefitting more than 3.7 million people in 48 countries.
“The Adaptation Fund is an innovative, flexible, and unique climate fund, which enables resources to reach beneficiaries in a swift and transparent manner,” Sharma advised. “It is the only climate adaptation fund that targets the most vulnerable communities as a strategic priority and that is currently implementing concrete direct access projects on the ground. Through replication and scaling-up of activities, our adaptation projects have a clear potential to be transformative. An independent evaluation has confirmed that the Adaptation Fund and its institutional arrangements provide good value for the money, and that we are delivering effectively on our mandate.”
Sharma also spoke of the challenge to the Fund’s long-term financial sustainability, and its increasing dependence on voluntary government contributions since the collapse of the carbon market weakened a 2% share it receives of carbon reduction credits from the UN Clean Development Mechanism. The Fund has set a US $80 million resource mobilization target through the end of this year.
Sharma further made clear that the Fund’s roadmap to participating in the Paris Agreement is crucial. Decisions approving the Agreement last year noted that the Fund may serve the agreement subject to a process that is already underway. Two additional positive steps forward were taken earlier this week in that process.
Furthermore, the Fund is already demonstrating value to the Agreement by funding concrete adaptation projects through its portfolio.
“We hope the [conference’s] Parties will formally acknowledge this by completing the roadmap established in Paris,” Sharma said. “The Fund needs your support to make it more financially sustainable and institutionally predictable so that it continues its important and effective work.”
Following the speech, several delegation representatives from developing countries such as the Bahamas, Burkina Faso, Argentina, Iraq, Uruguay, Jordan and Nicaragua made pleas of support toward this end — thanking the Fund for its work and praising its value in pioneering Direct Access, its growing number of NIEs, concrete country-led projects that build national capacity while serving urgent climate change adaptation needs, and the need for an approach that provides adequate and scalable resources for adaptation with the Fund being a key part of it.