Cross-organizational dialogue on climate finance in the Asia-Pacific

On Thursday May 24, UNEP regional staff brought together numerous organizations to “Take stock,” of regionally based climate finance initiatives, with a strong focus on climate finance capacity development. This dialogue was organized and facilitated by UNEP Asia-Pacific, represented by Mozaharul Alam (Regional Climate Change Coordinator, UNEP Asia-Pacific) and Joyce Lee (Consultant, UNEP National Climate Finance Institutions). The dialogue was jointly backed by The Frankfurt School; UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance.

As Lee explained: “The aim of the regional dialogue is to help organizations find out about different, current and planned initiatives that are aimed at proving climate finance capacity development support to countries in this region.” UNCDF Asia-Pacific staff were invited to present UNCDF Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility, LoCAL. The two principle points addressed were: The inter-governmental fiscal transfer system from national to sub-national governments; and the Performance-Based Climate Resilience Grant (PBCRG) mechanism inherent in the programme.

Seven programmes were presented by institutions from within the UN system including UNEP, UNDP, and UNCDF supplemented by external institutional contributions from GIZ, The Frankfurt School and ADAPT Asia (funded by USAID). The attending climate finance practitioners featured various climate finance capacity development frameworks involving innovative approaches to: Mainstreaming, knowledge management, programme scaling, strategy formulation, organizational training and the strengthening of governmental and financial actors.

During the discussion, it became clear that two areas of support common among the programmes are in-country needs assessments and technical assistance to help establish and strengthen national financial institutions. Areas of improvement in terms of climate finance capacity included meeting accreditation requirements, improving fiduciary standards, reinforcing institutional start-up and catalyzing private sector engagement and investment.

Towards the end of this initial dialogue, participants agreed that: “Interested organizations could work together and contribute to the regional climate financing workshop in September 2012 and consider how best to use this event to engage with countries in a joined up approach.”

As Lee and Alam remarked: “The Asia-Pacific region is quite advanced in relation to climate finance, this stock-taking dialogue encourages organizations within the UN system and outside of it, to share knowledge and avoid duplication of efforts.”