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Press Statement: For release at the Lahti Adaptation Finance Ministerial, 4 April 2022

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Ministers and Climate Action Leaders Agree to Accelerate Political Ambition on Adaptation Finance as IPCC Publishes New Science

SUMMARY:

  • Today, ministers and senior representatives convened in Lahti, Finland, recognising the science and with the determination to accelerate delivery on the adaptation finance ambitions agreed at COP26 in Glasgow last year.
  • IPCC Working Group III report published today highlights urgent need to turn climate promises into tangible action to keep 1.5C within reach.
  • The IPCC’s new report follows recent evidence showing that climate change impacts are rapidly increasing, and that mobilising more financial resources for adaptation is increasingly critical, especially for vulnerable and developing countries.

 

 

STORY:

Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari hosted ministers and senior officials from the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance along with representatives of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), United Kingdom COP26 Presidency, Egyptian COP27 Presidency Designate, the United Nations, and guests from Canada, the USA, Norway, Iceland, the Adaptation Fund, Green Climate Fund, Nordic Development Fund, OECD Development Assistance Committee, E3G, the International Institute for Environment and Development and the Global Center on Adaptation at the Lahti Adaptation Finance Ministerial on 3-4 April.

The Champions Group on Adaptation Finance published a statement of commitment outlining their intentions to work with climate action leaders from the most vulnerable countries and key players in multilateral institutions to turn political ambition into tangible action.

Building on this, at today’s discussion the Champions Group, LDC Group, AOSIS, among others, highlighted opportunities to work together on a range of issues, including to:

champion the development of a collective plan to deliver the agreement from COP26 to at least double climate adaptation finance from 2019 levels by 2025;

make it easier for climate vulnerable countries to access the available adaptation finance, including to review the eligibility criteria;

improve the transparency of climate finance to better understand where adaptation finance is flowing;

strengthen domestic climate finance architecture in-country to create national aggregation platforms for projects.

The inclusion of young people, women and girls, and local climate vulnerable communities in decision making is critical to achieving these priorities.

As well as identifying the above concrete actions to take forward, participants also highlighted initiatives that are relevant to today’s discussion, including: the UN Secretary General and WMO initiative to prepare an early warning financing package to be approved by COP27; New Zealand working with AOSIS and the Overseas Development Institute to support capacity to operationalise Article 2(1)(c) in three Small Island Developing States; practical approaches including the LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR) and the recently announced African Adaptation Acceleration Program’s Upstream Financing Facility.


QUOTES:

Minister Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Finland, said

“The global need for adaptation already exceeds available funding, and the needs are bound to rise quickly. Therefore, we must find solutions to increase adaptation finance from all possible sources. We must continue exploring the opportunities and understand the limitations of mobilising private sector finance for adaptation, including in the unique context of climate vulnerable countries.”

Ambassador Wael Aboulmagd, COP27 Presidency, Egypt

“Egypt is fully committed to making 2022 the year we move from negotiation to implementation. This means the full implementation of the Paris Agreement as well as following up on implementing pledges made in Glasgow particularly those related to Adaptation which is of utmost priority to all developing countries. We must therefore spare no effort in addressing the adaptation gap while focusing on developing creative models to attract climate finance to adaptation from both public and private sources.

The commitment made by developed countries at Glasgow to double adaptation finance is a welcome step in the right direction, but we need to see even more ambitious steps with regard to attracting private investments to adaptation bearing in mind that today less than 1% of private climate finance goes to adaptation while 99% is invested in mitigation action.”

Madeleine Diouf Sarr, Chair of the Least Developed Country Group, Head of the Climate Change Division, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Senegal, said

"Today's ministerial meeting was critical for raising the political ambition on adaptation finance this year. We're seeing strong signals from ministers and senior representatives, especially from members of the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance, that they are serious about making change - about increasing the amount of adaptation finance available, and addressing quality and access issues.

But we need to see these commitments turned into action, and quickly - we need to see a clear plan for doubling of adaptation finance, improvements in the systems and processes for accessing the finance that is available, and a shift towards much stronger transparency of where the finance is going.

Under LIFEAR, the LDC Group has set out our intention to develop the strategic delivery mechanisms necessary to get 70% of adaptation finance to local communities - the priorities agreed with the Champions Group and others today will help us achieve this ambition."

Ambassador Conrod Hunte, Ambassador, AOSIS Lead Negotiator, Antigua and Barbuda, said

“Let’s be frank. The combination of SIDS inherent special circumstances such as our size, population, remoteness, geography, and particular vulnerability make us uniquely exposed to climate change especially when compared to others. SIDS are, however, still not being prioritized for climate finance, as outlined in the Paris Agreement. We are also not being given the promised efficient access to such finance through simplified processes. And beyond not being prioritized, SIDS are being barred for accessing climate finance.
Nevertheless, today's gathering of progressive leaders at the Lahti Adaptation Finance Ministerial in Finland shows promising signs that change is coming. That leaders are listening to our calls, our priorities, and our challenges - and are ready to take action with us.

SIDS are committed to working with the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance and others to drive forward the needed changes on adaptation finance. As a first step, we, nevertheless, need a guarantee from the Group that all SIDS are eligible to access their bilateral adaptation finance through simplified access and approval processes, no later than COP 27. The longer we leave challenges like this one unfixed, the more people in the countries I represent will suffer. We need urgent action on the ground now and look forward to making it happen together.”

H.E. Kitty van der Heijden, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, said

“As one of the founding members of Champions Group on Adaptation Finance, the Netherlands stays firmly committed to work with all climate vulnerable countries to address the adaptation finance challenges raised by them and make real tangible progress by COP27. This meeting in Lahti is yet another important stepping stone in the right direction.”

Rt Hon. Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State (Minister for the Pacific and the International Environment), United Kingdom, said

“It is vital that climate finance supports both people and nature, and we must work in close partnership to respond to the needs of those who are most affected, particularly the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, and to harness nature as a vital tool to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

The UK is fully committed to delivering on the Glasgow Climate Pact commitment to double adaptation finance, and this will continue be a key focus as we take forward our commitment to provide £11.6 billion of climate finance up to 2025, supporting a balance between mitigation and adaptation, with at least £3 billion of our ICF spent on protecting nature.”

Assistant Secretary General Selwin Hart, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Action, said

“Protecting people and livelihoods from accelerating climate impacts must be pursued with the same degree of urgency and ambition as reducing global emissions. Countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis are at a breaking point.

We need concrete outcomes in 2022 that prioritize their needs. This includes a clear plan to meet the commitment made by donors to double their adaptation finance by 2025, 100% global coverage of early warning systems, concrete measures to simplify access to climate finance by the most vulnerable, and support to accelerate the adaptation project pipelines in vulnerable countries.”

Background

The Champions Group on Adaptation Finance was launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2021, and has 13 members including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom as well as the African Development Bank and is supported by the European Commission.

The Lahti Adaptation Finance Ministerial included participants from:

  • Antigua and Barbuda (AOSIS Chair)
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Denmark
  • Canada
  • European Union
  • Egypt (COP27 Presidency Designate)
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Maldives
  • Senegal (LDC Group Chair)
  • Sweden
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom (COP26 Presidency)
  • USA

And representatives from:

  • Adaptation Fund
  • African Development Bank
  • E3G – Third Generation Environmentalism
  • The Finnish Climate Panel
  • Global Center on Adaptation
  • Green Climate Fund
  • International Institute for Environment and Development
  • Nordic Development Fund
  • OECD Development Assistance Committee
  • Office of the UN Secretary General
  • World Meteorological Organisation

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