Fast start finance: fuelling the fight against climate change in Africa

Fast start finance: fuelling the fight against climate change in Africa

Africa is on the frontline of climate change: direct consequences such as desertification, floods and droughts can already be felt today, and widespread poverty across the continent means that the opportunities to adapt to global warming and mitigate its effects are very limited.

The EU has stepped in to halt this process and help African countries face up to the climate challenge, and the joint Africa-EU declaration has been signed in 2008. Financial support is a key to making this happen.

The ‘Copenhagen Accord’, reached at the UN climate conference in December 2009, laid the basis for a global $30 billion ‘fast start’ finance package for the period 2010-12. The EU and its member states contribute around a third of the committed sums. The package provides funding for climate action in developing countries with a special focus on the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

It provides for measures to adapt to climate change and to mitigate its effects as well as technology cooperation to sustain efforts in these two areas.

Adaptation

Planned actions in this field include

  • increasing the knowledge base on climate impacts through the development of systematic observation systems, research, data collection information management, and so on;
  • capacity-building for the integration of adaptation to climate change in planning processes; and
  • building up experience in disaster risk reduction.

Mitigation

Planned actions in this field include

  • capacity-building in a number of strategic areas to promote low-carbon development;
  • the development  of sustainable infrastructure including cooperation on renewables and energy efficiency;
  • supporting sustainable management and conservation of forests, and building up forest carbon stocks.

Technology cooperation

Actions in this field seek to support adaptation and mitigation measures through

  • promoting knowledge-sharing and improving know-how, adapting technologies to local environments and establishing national and regional road maps and action plans;
  • launching pilot projects and participating in demonstrations of emerging technologies; and
  • improving energy efficiency and infrastructure.

The fast start finance framework is a first step before moving towards financing of $100 billion annually by 2020, in the context of meaningful mitigation action and transparency on implementation. The package complements existing climate finance initiatives for the developing world such as the EU’s Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF), set up to mobilise private investment in renewables and energy efficiency projects in developing countries. Fast start finance is additional to the already existing commitments to support developing countries through ODA It will be carried out in particular through the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) and other programmes from MS. GCCA support is already taking place in several African countries, including Senegal, Mali, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mauritius and Seychelles. For several other countries programmes are under preparation. There is also support at regional level involving CILSS/ECOWAS in West Africa and COMESA in Eastern and Southern Africa and at PanAfrican level for example through CLIMDEV Africa.