Dear colleagues, dear friends, ladies, and gentlemen,
The annual Gobeshona Global Conference plays a key role in strengthening grassroots climate practice. The Conference recognises the urgent need to increase finance to enhance the climate resilience of communities, based on local leadership.
We need to scale up both climate mitigation and adaptation to avoid catastrophic climate impacts. Based on existing GHG emission trends, we could blaze past the 2°C threshold early during the second half of this century. Furthermore, climate impacts are materializing faster than expected. For example, we were not expecting threats to the survival of unique ecosystems to materialize before an average global temperature increase of 4 to 6 °C twenty years ago. Today, we fear that a 2°C increase in mean global temperatures could wipe out 90% of coral reefs and endanger the security and economic livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people.
GCF is mandated to equally balance its portfolio between adaptation and mitigation. During GCF’s first funding period from 2015 to 2019, we allocated 55% of our climate finance in grant equivalent terms, to adaptation projects and 69% of these adaptation resources to the most vulnerable: LCDs, SIDS, and African States.
We need to increase both public and private sector investments in adaptation. In addition to providing direct grant support to local actors, GCF pilots new forms of blended finance to use scarce public money to catalyse private sector flows in priority adaptation sectors. For example, GCF supports the Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF) - the first climate adaptation-focused agriculture investment fund for small-scale farmers operating across 4 African countries.
We are also strong supporters of local climate action practitioners through our growing number of national Direct Access Entities. To date, 60 percent of GCF’s 103 accredited entities –are direct access entities.
In Bangladesh, for example, we are working with the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) to increase the resilience of poor, climate-vulnerable communities in flood-prone areas. This project prioritises female-led households based on proven consultative adaptation models. Direct Access Entities, such as PKSF, can best identify the local players who are instrumental in executing community- based adaptation projects.
I look forward to hearing innovative ideas during the Gobeshona Conference on further measures GCF can take to boost the role of local actors and businesses in adaptation. Thank you.