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Global climate change alliance
The European Union (EU) is proposing to launch a global alliance with the developing countries that are most vulnerable to climate change in order to help prepare them for confronting this challenge. By focusing on the least developed countries and small island States, the alliance will offer a structured dialogue and concrete cooperation on actions funded by the EU’s development policy.
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 18 September 2007 – Building a global climate change alliance between the European Union and poor developing countries most vulnerable to climate change [COM(2007) 540 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Developing countries will be affected most by climate change, the poorest least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS) in particular, as these do not have sufficient resources to prepare for and adapt to current changes. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Africa is particularly vulnerable to this challenge. Specifically, Africa will be exposed to water stress, extreme weather events and food insecurity associated with drought and desertification.
The Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) aims at supporting the poorest and most vulnerable countries with respect to their capacity to adapt to the effects of climate change. It will provide a platform for dialogue and regular exchange between the EU and these countries, aiming at the integration of climate change in national development strategies and in development cooperation. This dialogue will also be conducted at regional level, for instance with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States , the African Union (AU), SIDS and also within the framework of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). The GCCA will also provide financial and technical support for adaptation measures and the integration of climate change into development strategies.
This exchange of views and experience outside the negotiating context will help to support the ongoing process under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), contribute to the convergence of visions between Europe and developing countries and feed into the development of a post-2012 climate agreement.
The Commission is proposing five priority areas, to be discussed and refined in the GCCA dialogue, namely:
- Implementation of measures to adapt to climate change, by supporting the development of national adaptation action plans in vulnerable countries other than LDCs and the implementation of these plans in LDCs and SIDS that have finalised them. Other measures proposed include financing pilot adaptation projects and supporting research into the impact of climate change in developing countries. The design of innovative adaptation solutions within the EU’s 7th research framework programme and the food security thematic programme is also proposed.
- Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries, by strengthening national capacities to monitor deforestation and developing national strategies to combat the phenomenon. Moreover, the EU is proposing the introduction of financial incentives and expansion of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative.
- Enhancement of participation in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), thanks to the strengthening of capacities and technical support for cost-effective project development, as well as showcasing projects that are better suited to the specific conditions in LDCs and SIDS.
- Promotion of disaster risk reduction (DRR), by improving climate forecasting and information systems, and the translation of collected data into effective preparedness measures. Moreover, the Commission is proposing to support the strengthening of regional capacities for confronting the risk of climate-related disasters and the design of measures aimed at assisting developing countries in the implementation of the Hyogo framework.
- Integration of climate change into poverty reduction strategies and programmes. This involves promoting the inclusion of adaptation plans in development strategies and strengthening the institutional capacity of LDCs and SIDS so that they take climate change into account when preparing national policies. Moreover, the Commission is proposing to undertake environmental assessments for EU-funded development projects and programmes. Specifically, the Commission intends to systematically address the climate change issue on the occasion of the mid-term review of country and regional strategy papers.
The GCCA will be financed chiefly through the “Environment and sustainable management of natural resources, including energy” thematic programme, for which an additional €50 million have been allocated for the 2008-2010 period. Moreover, resources earmarked under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), i.e. the national and regional envelopes that can contribute to the GCCA, and about €200 million under the intra-ACP programme in the area of climate change, the environment and disaster risk prevention will be available.
The Commission is also calling on Member States to contribute to the financing of the GCCA, by allocating part of the increase in public development aid that they have committed themselves to achieving before 2010. A joint GCCA financing mechanism managed by the Commission is being explored.
The strong link between climate change and poverty was highlighted by the EU in 2003. The idea of establishing a Global Alliance for confronting climate change was proposed in June 2007 in the Green Paper on adapting to climate change in Europe, which contains a pillar on integrating adaptation into EU external actions. As a follow-up to the European Council conclusions of March 2007, the Green Paper called for enhanced dialogue and cooperation between the EU and developing countries in this area.