Green Climate Fund (GCF) operational: Shifeta

24 Feb 2016 20:10pm
WINDHOEK, 24 FEB (NAMPA) - The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is operational and the process of accrediting organisations to access these funds is slated for later this year, Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta announced in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
“The Green Climate Fund is expected to become the main global fund for climate change finance, and US dollars 100 billion [about N.dollars 1.5 trillion] is expected to flow through this fund annually by 2020.
“The Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia has been accredited to the Green Climate Fund, and we are busy preparing six project proposals that will be submitted to the fund later in 2016.”
The GCF was adopted as a financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the end of 2011. It aims to make a contribution to attaining the mitigation and adaptation goals of the international community. Over time, it is expected to become the main multilateral financing mechanism to support climate action in developing countries.
The GCF became fully operational in 2015.
Shifeta stated that adaptation to climate change is a critical priority for Namibia. Therefore, it is highly significant that the Paris Agreement contains a global goal on climate change adaptation to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change.
Namibia attended the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC, as well as the 12th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) that was held from 30 November to 12 December 2015 in Paris, France. One hundred and ninety six countries attended the event and adopted a universal legal binding global climate deal. The agreement sets out a global plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below two Degrees Celsius. The agreement is due to enter into force in the year 2020.
Shifeta emphasised the importance of this legally binding treaty coming with domestic obligations and opportunities for Namibia.
“Greater international cooperation is also called for to strengthen adaptation in developing countries, particularly those vulnerable to climate change. This will allow Namibia to mobilise support for strengthening the resilience of farmers and rural communities to drought events and for the construction of climate-proof infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, Shifeta said Namibia will host an international conference in August this year, focusing on the development of a strategic framework to improve drought resilience in Africa. This conference will look at solutions to enhance Namibia’s preparedness for drought events and will be held in partnership with a number of international partners, including the UNCCD and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
Namibia and southern Africa, in general, is experiencing one of the worst droughts in 30 years.