As part of the outreach activities, the IUC team participated in the NAP Expo 2019. Dr. Sang In KANG, IUC Korea Coordinator, participated in the session “Enhancing adaptation planning and financing at the local level”. The session was organised by the UN Capacity Development Fund (CDF) and the Korean Adaptation Center for Climate Change (KACCC), which focused on subnational adaptation planning and financing.
A group discussion session was organised to consider the following key issues:
- Importance of devolving planning, decision making, and access to finance to local levels.
- What are the barriers to channeling adaptation finance to the local level?
- What approaches are being tested to ensure that adaptation finance responds to the needs of the most vulnerable, and what are some of the lessons learned to date?
- What are the barriers to engaging the private sector in delivering adaptation results at the local level? How could public funds be effectively deployed to address these barriers?
- Participants agreed that local authorities are in a unique position to identify and implement the responses that best meet local needs. Typically, they have the mandate to undertake small to medium-sized investments required for building climate resilience. However, most local authorities cannot effectively contribute to climate change adaptation for different reasons. There can be general lack of appropriate budget allocations leading to unfunded mandates or lack of funding for private and public-private income-generating adaptation projects. Furthermore, discussions on climate finance have been mostly limited to the national level where funding sources are mainly accessible to national programs. In some cases where funding is available at the local level, there is inability to absorb the additional cost of climate change adaptation.
- The UN Capital Development Fund designed a global mechanism to help local authorities’ access and use climate finance effectively at the local level. The Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) responds to these challenges by providing performance-based grants for climate resilience through the national intergovernmental transfer system. The Performance-Based Climate Resilience Grants (PBCRG) complements a regular financial top-up and other local revenues and channeled to strengthen national fiscal transfer systems (not parallel or ad hoc structures). It also includes minimum conditions, performance measures and an eligible investment menu aligned with the NDCs (e.g. agro-processing, agroforestry, climate smart agriculture).
- Country experiences showed that the process to formulate and implement NAPs creates an enabling environment for mutually supportive planning and implementation for adaptation at national and sub-national levels. The integration can be further enabled by the continued strengthening of local governments’ technical capacities in matters such as planning and budgeting and financing local adaptation plans.
Following the session, there was a brief follow-up consultation with co-organizers checking the potential of future cooperation on local adaptation capacity building in Korea and sub-regions in Asia. Mr. David Jackson, director of Local Development Finance and Ms. Sophie de Coninck, programme manager from UNCDF, Dr. Hoon Jang from KACCC attended the consultation and agreed to explorer the area of cooperation for local and regional climate actions. Dr. KANG had a discussion with the co-organisers to share the progress in IUC/Asia-Korea and future cooperation areas between UNCDF and IUC/Asia.
Visit to UNESCAP SRO NEA Low Carbon City Policy meeting
As a way of enhancing awareness of IUC/Asia-Korea activities, Dr. KANG made a visit to UNESCAP Sub-Regional Office of NEA based in Songdo Incheon and attended a 3-countries meeting on low carbon city development in China, Japan and Korea. During the bilateral consultation with Ms. MinKyeong HONG, research associate in charge of Low Carbon City Policy, Dr. KANG introduced the preparation of the domestic capacity building workshop to be held in June at Gwangju city. Ms. Hong accepted the idea of SOR NEA participation in the workshop and would take follow-up actions for an added-value from SOR NEA side.
- The mission was an outreach one to identify future IUC/Asia-Korea local and regional partners and explorer possible mode of cooperation with partners, experience sharing, advisory services, co-organization of local training etc.
- It was confirmed the cooperation with SOR ENEA regarding the domestic training workshop on low carbon climate action and city development. Further, it proved better to make benefit of the lessons learned from IUC/Asia-Korea programme by sharing them with regional stakeholders in collaboration with KACCC and UNCDF working in the region.
- During the consultation with the participants of NAP Expo 2019 and staffs from UNCDF and others including GIZ, FAO and SOR NEA, the access to finance and technology was identified as one of the main challenges in local adaptation actions. This will be considered in agenda-setting for the next June workshop.