As proud as we can be as Ghanaians when it comes to climate policies, it is nowadays evident that climate actions are greatly impeded without an appropriate financial flow. Trying at its best to address such situations, the 27th Conference Of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 27) ended with some improvements in the various existing financing mechanisms in the climate space and with a historic agreement on a “Loss and Damage Fund”.

  • A historic agreement on “loss and damage fund”

First referred to in a formally negotiated UN text in the 2007 Bali Action Plan, this issue of loss and damage has gone through decades-long discussions but had never received a clear definition nor been concealed under a chapter among the numerous texts that regulate the various UNFCCC bodies. But coming out of this UNFCCC COP 27, Parties have finally come to the agreement of establishing a ‘’Loss and Damage Fund’’ destined to provide technical assistance to the most vulnerable countries affected by the adverse effects of the climate crisis in averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage. Considered a great win in this year’s negotiations, The UN climate change Executive Secretary will put it this way: “This outcome moves us forward. We have determined a way forward on a decades-long conversation…”

The “Loss and Damage”, defined in the UNFCCC process as the harm caused by anthropogenic (human-generated) climate change, this agreement marks an important breakthrough in the agenda adopted for discussions throughout this Conference Of Parties because its implementation will help in a significant way to achieve a Just Transition. Though not yet operational, Parties have agreed to establish a “transitional committee” with the role of making recommendations on how to operationalize both, the new funding arrangements and the fund itself at COP 28 next year. The first meeting of the transitional committee is expected to take place before the end of March 2023.

  • New financial pledges for the Adaptation Fund

Discussions around the Adaptation Fund also saw significant progress as Parties agreed on the way to move forward on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) with new pledges totalling more than USD 230 million being made. These pledges will help many more vulnerable communities adapt to climate change through concrete adaptation solutions. COP 27’s President, Sameh Shoukry announced the Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation agenda which is to “enhance resilience for people living in the most climate vulnerable communities by 2030”. UN climate change’s standing committee on finance was requested to prepare a report on doubling adaptation finance for consideration at COP 28 next year.

  • A promising report from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in response to guidance from the Conference of the Parties

Responding to guidance from the Conference Of the Parties, the GEF submitted a report to this decision-making body of the UNFCCC on its activities. This report contains a few achievements coupled with recommendations from the Conference Of the Parties to the GEF. A few points of this report are highlighted below:

  1. Some achievements
  • 86 projects and programmes were approved under the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund, the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund (Covering the period from 1st July 2021 to 30th June 2022).
  • Continued implementation of the Long-Term Vision on Complementarity, Coherence and Collaboration between the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility has been observed.
  • A conclusion has been reached over the eighth replenishment of the Global Environment Facility of USD 5.33.
  • There is an increased allocation of resources to Small Island Developing States and the Least Developed Countries in the eighth replenishment of the Global Environment Facility.
  • There is a commitment of the GEF to maintain an ambitious level of direct and indirect climate co-benefits in its eighth replenishment.
  • Some recommendations
  • The COP encourages the GEF, in its administration of the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate Change Fund, to support Developing Country Parties in implementing national adaptation plans and other national adaptation planning processes and urges Developed country Parties to increase their voluntary contributions to the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Special Climate change Fund.
  • The COP calls on GEF to enhance its support, within its mandate, for implementing the enhanced Lima work programme on gender and its gender action plan.
  • The COP requests the GEF to report on its efforts to deliver the increased per-project funding ceiling under its Small Grants Programme agreed on during the eighth replenishment process
  • The COP urges GEF to enhance the support provided for activities related to technology training, funding for technology development and transfer and capacity building