We answer to the key questions regarding NDF's participation at COP26
What is the COP process about?
The UN Climate Change Conference - the official name for climate COPs - has taken place every year since 1995. The two-week summits are an important space for stakeholders to discuss the climate crisis on a global level. These annual conferences bring together those that have signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in which every UN member state is a signatory. Effectively every nation, country, or state in the world is involved, giving a total of 197 signatory parties. In addition, NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and IGOs (inter-governmental organisations) with observer status to the UNFCCC are eligible to attend. https://ukcop26.org
Each year representatives from every party come together to discuss action on climate change in the COP. The 26th COP was meant to take place in Glasgow, UK in November 2020, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the ambitions and expectations with COP26?
COP26 is a critical summit for global climate action. To have a chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, global emissions must halve by 2030 and reach net-zero level by 2050. Glasgow needs to keep 1.5 degrees within reach in a credible way.
The 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states clearly that it is still possible to achieve the 1.5-degree-target but only if clear action is taken now. In addition to accelerating the emission reductions globally, Glasgow also needs to be the moment when adaptation needs and responses are taken seriously at scale.
COP26 is the first test of raising the ambition. One of the main success criteria in Glasgow is that as many governments as possible submit new NDCs and, when put together, these are ambitious enough to put the world on track for ‘well below’ 2 degrees, preferably 1.5. The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is substantial: every increment of a degree translates into increased risks for people, communities, and ecosystems. Therefore, a key goal for the Glasgow summit is to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
A successful outcome in Glasgow also requires developed countries to honour a promise they made back in 2009 of mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020 to support climate action in developing countries. It is clear the goal was not met last year.
Scaling up climate adaptation finance is critical to building global resilience to worsening climate impacts. In 2019-2020, USD 46 billion was tracked in climate adaptation investment, falling well short of estimated annual needs of USD 140-300 billion through to 2030.
Governments cannot achieve this alone. Therefore, there is an urgent need to create bankable, adaptation investment opportunities in developing countries that will attract private investment and help shift global investment trends.
Strengthening the ability to adapt to climate change impacts is thus another important element of COP26, as is the question of how to deal with economic and non-economic harms caused by climate change impacts which cannot be avoided through adaptation or mitigation, known as ‘loss and damage’.
Discussions on these issues often focus on mobilizing finance but it is also important that parties make progress on other issues such as further operationalizing the Paris Agreement’s ‘global goal on adaptation’ which, at present, is vaguely formulated.
The IPCC report has a clear message and it is a wake-up call and underlines that the window for action is narrow. Despite this, the report also provides hope and underscores that the technological and financial tools already exist to slow down the negative trajectory. The most important message is that action needs to happen now and that expression of solidarity to those impacted hardest are meaningless unless coupled with concrete and sufficient action.
In summary, there are two main reasons why the 2021 summit is so important.
Firstly, COVID-19 has refocused priorities and caused individuals and governments alike to pay closer attention to climate and the environment. As many countries look to rebuild their economies in the wake of the pandemic, there has been a major emphasis on ‘building back better’ through a green recovery.
Secondly, COP26 is being viewed as the successor to COP21 where the Paris Accord was signed. COP26 is seen as the summit to both address what has, and what hasn’t happened since 2015, while also setting concrete plans to reach the Paris Agreement targets.
Why is NDF participating?
The COP26 convenes up to 200 delegations from different countries. In addition to the official negotiations the event is an important forum for the broad spectrum of leaders, institutions, organisations, activists and other stakeholders working with climate change -related topics. This makes it an important event for NDF as a forum for outreach, partnership building and knowledge sharing.
Through participation in the various events, discussions and meetings, NDF seeks to create visibility around NDF as an action -oriented climate finance actor to provide financing for projects and investments focusing on the nexus between climate change and development. In addition, NDF seeks to promote solutions for identified climate change and development problems through showcasing its previous experience, through discussing new initiatives with existing and new partners at the conference site, and through continued discussions going forward.
What are the expected outcomes for NDF?
At the COP26 NDF will highlight the critical focus on adaptation action in the most vulnerable countries, and the role of flexible, early-stage climate financing that will make solutions reality. In the different events, NDF will discuss and present solutions and experiences particularly related to adaptation financing as well as financial innovation to increase a catalytic impact. With urbanisation being a big challenge in Africa, particular focus will also be on green urban development and questions on how to turn challenges into opportunities, and discussing how innovative and people-centred urban development and investments can unlock green economic recovery for more liveable cities.
Through organising events at the Nordic Pavilion, and through participation in other events, discussions and meetings, NDF aims to raise awareness around NDF as a partner and solutions broker, to reach out to existing and new partners for continued and new collaboration, as well as to keep abreast with the global climate and development agenda more broadly.
How can NDF contribute to a successful outcome of COP26?
NDF provides financing to both mitigation and adaptation activities within the nexus of climate change and development in lower-income countries and countries in fragile situations. With a fresh capital injection, NDF is an action-focused tool of the Nordic countries to support the goals of the Paris Agreement and to accelerate transformative climate action in the countries and among the populations that are most vulnerable. NDF supports the global agenda and shows Nordic leadership through its clear focus, its global partnerships and its flexible financing toolbox.
This contribution from NDF is important, as a successful outcome in Glasgow also requires developed countries to honour a promise they made back in 2009 of mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020 to support climate action in developing countries. It is clear the goal was not met in 2019, in COP25.
NDF supports adaptation through a wide range of activities that will enhance the ability of partner countries to respond to climate change-related issues such as sea level rise, storms, floods, and drought; and threats to water resources, health, infrastructure, agriculture and food security. Social impacts are particularly relevant with regard to adaptation as the poor and generally disadvantaged tend to be the most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.
NDF also provides financing to projects mitigating climate change through supporting a more competitive low-carbon economy that makes efficient, sustainable use of resources, including reduction of greenhouse gases, improvement of energy efficiency, promotion of added renewable energy capacity and efficient smart electricity grids, fossil-free transport systems, carbon sequestration, waste minimisation and recycling.
Through its financing, NDF provides different kinds of solutions for the financing of nationally prioritised public sector projects implemented by public sector entities, especially the multilateral development banks in the focus countries. NDF co-finances projects in the public sector through grants and concessionary loans with the goal of validating the project's concept and leveraging financing from other sources. In addition, NDF identifies financing opportunities and acts as a matchmaker between the public and private sectors to help raise capital for demonstrably viable and scalable initiatives.
NDF’s approach to private sector operations recognises the central role of private sector actors and stakeholders in achieving the global climate and development goals determined in the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. This approach highlights the private sector as an essential source of innovation, cutting-edge solutions, efficient interventions and market development. In this context, a guiding principle is that private sector companies, such as technology providers and project developers, play an important role in leading the transition of developing countries towards green, resilient and sustainable economies and societies. Moreover, by supporting initiatives and partnerships between the public and private sector, NDF strengthens these transformational processes.
NDF strives to increase the probability that innovative early-stage climate and development projects, in a planning or pilot stage, will be validated, developed and tested to a point where they can draw financing for scale-up from public or commercial sources. By creating a larger pipeline of effectively designed and implemented early-stage projects, NDF seeks to increase the number and effectiveness of large-scale and highly replicable climate and development solutions.
NDF strives to enable and catalyse financing from the public and private sectors for climate and development impact. By increasing the number of projects that receive scale-up financing and improving leverage ratios to create a larger volume of climate finance, NDF facilitates the more widespread creation of climate and development solutions capable of delivering inclusive and climate-friendly development.
These activities together contribute not only to the outcome of the COP26, but also to a long-term green and resilient trajectory in line with the broader COP agenda.
Why were the events hosted by NDF chosen?
The Nordic countries have ambitious climate goals and we strongly believe that we can do more by working together. This is why the Nordic countries have joined forces since 2015 at the COP to create dialogue and knowledge sharing on climate solutions and challenges. With more than 80 events the Nordic Pavilion at COP26 in Glasgow cover a wide range of topics on climate change and solutions. From green energy and transportation to food systems and finance. Every day features a theme about some of the most important areas when dealing with climate change.
NDF is an integral part of the Nordic pavilion and contributes through events on topics that are of particular interest given the purpose and strategy of NDF. This year, NDF coordinates events on climate change adaptation and resilience, as well as green urban development.
Through participation in other events during the COP26, NDF will continue to highlight the critical focus on adaptation action in the most vulnerable countries with focus on community-based resilience, rural climate finance as well as the role of flexible climate financing.
What are the key messages that NDF will communicate in relation to COP?
NDF is an action-focused tool of the Nordic countries to support the goals of the Paris Agreement and to accelerate transformative climate action in the countries and among the populations that are most vulnerable. NDF supports the global agenda and shows Nordic leadership through its clear focus, its global partnerships and its flexible financing toolbox.
NDF puts emphasis on the need to act now, provide concrete support to design, launch and scale-up of prioritised interventions. Furthermore, NDF emphasises the importance to provide co-financing in collaboration with strategic partners in a way that the collaboration amplifies the strengths of each contributing partner resulting that the impact is larger than the sum of the financing provided.
What impressions do we want to create / leave on NDF’s engagement?
Through our involvement in the COP26 we wish to support the impression of NDF as a unique, value adding instrument of the Nordic countries to support the goals of the Paris Agreement in concrete ways through close collaboration with its strategic partners. Through its work NDF supports the global climate and development agenda in the most vulnerable countries through its clear focus, its global partnerships and its flexible financing toolbox.