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Two European Countries Announce More Fast-Track Climate Funding in Cancun
10/ 12/ 2010

Two European Countries Announce More Fast-Track Climate Funding in CancunUN Environment Programme Says Investments Contribute Towards US$30 Billion Goal Pledged in Copenhagen

Cancun, 9 December 2010-Fast-track climate funding for vulnerable mountain communities and low carbon development strategies was announced today by the governments of Denmark and Germany and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The projects underline the many forward-looking actions emerging across the globe that are fostering a transition to a low-carbon pathway.

Some of these have been showcased in UNEP's 30 Ways in 30 Days campaign launched in the runup to Cancun- from the expansion of geothermal electricity in Kenya to Bus Rapid Transit systems in Indonesia and coping with floods by simple building designs in Mozambique.

The 10 million Euros (over US$13 million) programme is expected to be funded by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety and covers ecosystem-based adaptation in mountain regions.

It will involve around three pilot countries: Uganda in East Africa, Nepal in the Himalayas of Asia and Peru in the Andes of Latin America.

The programme, to be carried out by UNEP, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), will assess, for example, increased vulnerability among communities and farmers to droughts and floods linked with rising regional temperatures and the loss of glaciers and ice.

It will also address how to conserve and enhance mountain ecosystems in order to boost resilience to likely future climatic changes over the coming decades.

UNEP, UNDP and IUCN bring together the respective experiences and networks of the three organizations in the implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation projects. Ecosystem-based adaptation is a concept which seeks to create win-wins between adaptation measures and the conservation of biodiversity.

The German-financed programme is aimed at sparking off a larger fund for ecosystem-based adaptation measures in developing countries.

It is the intention of UNEP, UNDP and IUCN to use the lessons learnt to engage more donors and partner countries in 2011 in order to address further ecosystems such as coastal zones, river basins and wetlands while exploring new financing mechanisms such as payments for ecosystem-services that bolster adaptation.

German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen said: "Smaller glaciers are retreating in many parts of the world at often rapid rates, increasing vulnerability and enhancing risks to drinking water supplies, food security and in some cases infrastructure due to flash floods. This project forms part of Germany's commitment to fast track funding agreed last year in Copenhagen and aims to provide results that can act as a blue print for similar projects elsewhere in the world".

The Government of Denmark will provide US$6 million to the new programme Facilitating Implementation and readiness for Mitigation (FIRM). The new programme will also provide fast start financing to Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) in developing countries.

FIRM will assist six to eight developing countries to strengthen their national low carbon development strategies and get a "quick start" on NAMAs. The focus will be on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in ways that also contribute to national development goals, such as creating jobs, enhancing energy security, and reducing the local environmental impacts of conventional energy technologies.

FIRM will also develop guidelines for NAMA criteria, Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) approaches and tools for analyzing and prioritizing mitigation measures.

The project will be implemented by UNEP and build directly on the GEF-funded Technology Needs Assessment Programme in the participating countries. Danish funding will be supplemented by in-kind UNEP and national resources.

"What we are seeing here today is actual commitment and implementation of the Copenhagen Accord's fast-start financing. The conceptual understanding of the NAMAs and their link to finance - in the real world - will be a cornerstone in relation to long-term climate finance for the developing countries and hopefully pave the way for real-time emission reductions," Denmark's Minister for Climate and Energy and Gender Equality, Dr. Lykke Friis said.

"These announcements are a snapshot of the many projects that have secured fast start climate funding since the UN climate convention in Copenhagen. And they are part of a growing portfolio towards the $30 billion funding pledged by developed economies 12 months ago, en route to $100 billion a year by 2020," Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said.

For More Information Please Contact
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson/Head of Media, on Tel: +254 733 632755, E-Mail: nick.nuttall@unep.org

Further Resources
UNEP 30 ways in 30 days
High Mountain Glaciers and Climate Change Report