European Union Energy Initiative (EUEI)
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Climate Finance Readiness

Among others faulting factors discussed during the IPCC SREX outreach event held in Dakar on 18-19 June 2012, the lack of national transversal and interdisciplinary entities to better address climate change in West Africa has been stressed. In fact, while revealing of the inherently political nature of international negotiations, the strands of analysis about climate change, do not tackle the persistent challenge of the formulation and translation of international initiatives to national policy context.

Given the emergence and expectation of growing streams of climate initiatives and finance, this needs to be addressed.

Within ECOWAS member states, ministries of environment have traditionally inherited the responsibility for issues related to climate change. Consequently, access, management and implementation of “climate finance” remained prerogatives assigned to them. The increase in financial transfers from North to South for activities related to climate change, however, revealed a set of anachronisms hitherto unsolved. The increased flow of funds, the governance, internal organization or fiduciary requirements from  multilateral and bilateral “donors” and international agencies,  have not only increased the tasks related to  research, access, and management of climate finance funds; they additionally have hampered efforts to coordinate national strategies and their implementation.

Therefore, preparing countries in the sub-region to act with confidence and channel resources effectively has become a necessity that must be undertaken.

Indeed, the inadequacy of the local political and institutional organization and the lack of skills in state systems, are impediment to a full mobilization of funds from existing «Climate Finance” and their effective use. In addition, the isolation of funds, generally entrusted to Ministries of Environment, very often, prevents a possible and mandatory integration of actions into the overall planning of national development strategies and poverty reduction.

This undermines the effectiveness of development activities that should promote transformational behaviors aimed at fighting climate change.

In many ways, the Durban Platform of Enhanced Action (DPA) agreed upon at COP17 last year, gives a strong signal of the new dynamic bringing countries towards a common goal of a revolution for sustainable, low carbon emissions development (LCED) or Climate Compatible Development (CCD).

This project idea fits into that dynamic. It is innovative in that it aims to capacitate a vast array of stakeholders within ECOWAS so that countries initiate, design and establish singles domestic National Climate Finance Institutions (NCFIs) that will allow them to improve their approaches to climate finance that will be better integrated into a broader process of sustainable development planning.

In fine, actions that will be conducted during six months should be to help countries optimize their capacity to plan, research and access "Climate Finance» in all its forms and origins, to better catalyze these funds so that they could fully integrate the fight against climate change into national development priorities for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Antoine Faye is its main initiator. As an expert approved by Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), he was invited by that organization to submit an “innovative idea” that meet the particular requirements of the second round of CDKN Innovation Fund and that could benefit for funding. Antoine has consulted partners from Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso to explore how national governments in West Africa would consider mainstreaming climate finance knowledge to achieve integrated Climate Compatible Development. He has also secured the inestimable support of Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre. All contacts, indeed, have favorably answered to the partnership.

The FS-UNEP has engaged itself to put its vast experience in that issue to accompany, support and perhaps co-found the project. Partners from Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso have already filled out and forwarded their partnership profiles. Antoine has solely written a comprehensive proposal, which has been submitted to CDKN on august 31, 2012 accordingly to the specified terms contained in the guidelines for application.

Antoine is approaching your organization to explore with you, what you could do to support such an initiative provided, CDKN retains it for funding.

On the other hand, the FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre, has indicated that no matter CDKN’s decision as to fund or not the proposal, it will be willing to use the proposal as a background to implement in West Africa, its already Asia-tested National Climate Finance Institutions Support (NCFIS) project.

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Antoine FAYE
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15 September 2012

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