Zambia shows leadership potential in milestone visit to GCF HQ
Welcoming the 23-member group, including three government ministers, GCF Executive Director Howard Bamsey highlighted the country’s ability to respond to climate change.
”Zambia has a comprehensive action plan to address climate change. This roadmap has been established with collaboration among multiple national ministries and provides a model for other countries,” Mr. Bamsey said.
The delegation held a day of discussions with the GCF Secretariat in the city of Songdo to encourage greater understanding of the Fund in Zambia, and to deepen the country’s ongoing partnership with GCF.
Senior Zambian officials detailed a number of ways their country is addressing climate change, including:
- its establishment of a National Designated Authority to deal with GCF issues;
- its identification of three Zambian organisations as potential GCF Accredited Entities;
- recent progress on six projects that Zambia is presenting to GCF for possible future support
The group included senior government officials and representatives of private sector bodies and other organisations that could one day become GCF Accredited Entities – the essential components driving the Fund’s climate finance on the ground.
Zambian Minister of National Development Planning Mr. Lucky Mulusa highlighted the intractable ties between climate change and national development in his landlocked nation, already feeling the onset of climate change through droughts, flash floods and extreme temperatures.
“Rainfall patterns in Zambia are becoming irregular, affecting the large number of people who rely on agriculture,” said Mr. Mulusa. “So poverty levels are rising in areas where climate change effects have most taken their toll.”
Mr. Mulusa pointed to an unexpected drop in water levels at Kariba Dam, the site of one of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams on the Zambezi river basin between Zambia and Zimbabwe, as a sign of how decreased rainfall can disrupt economic development.
The resulting dearth of energy supply from low levels at the dam has hit Zambia hard as it relies on hydroelectricity for about 95 percent of its electricity.
GCF is currently considering a number of projects in Zambia, with the majority focusing on leveraging private sector investment. Mr Bamsey said he was pleased to see the inclusion of private sector representation among the Zambian delegation.
“Fundamental to GCF’s role is its use of resources from public sources to leverage private sector investment,” he said. “If we can succeed in that, then we can succeed in the climate change response.”
Zambia’s ability to draw up climate finance proposals has been enhanced by GCF’s readiness support programme.
The country signed a readiness grant agreement with GCF at the Fund’s 11th Board meeting in November 2015. Zambia hosted that meeting, which also marked GCF’s approval of its first projects, now numbering 35.