Climate Change Response (Multilateral)
FY2016 Funding Recommendation:
President's FY2016 Request
InterAction's FY2016 Recommendation
*This includes a funding request for the Green Climate Fund for the first time.
U.S. leadership is required to ensure a strong international response to climate change. U.S. multilateral climate investments, such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), complement and leverage U.S. bilateral investments to address extreme weather events that are likely to become more intense, frequent, and costly as temperatures continue to rise and affect weather patterns.
InterAction recommends $500 million for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in FY2016. The GCF, which is set to begin operations in late 2015 and has received over $10 billion in pledges for its initial four years of work, is intended to be the primary financial mechanism to support developing country efforts to address the impacts of climate change. The GCF will replace the CIFs and complement other existing multilateral climate change funds. Its innovative framework will focus on the development and implementation of country-level strategies and plans for climate resilience and low-carbon development, coupled with robust monitoring and evaluation. The GCF has a focus on particularly vulnerable countries, including least developed countries, small island states, and African states.
The $10 billion in pledges for the GCF includes a $3 billion U.S. pledge; substantial pledges of at least $1 billion each from Japan, the UK, Germany, and France; and smaller pledges from Canada, Australia, other European countries, and a number of “nontraditional” donor countries like Mexico, Korea, Peru, Colombia, Panama, and Mongolia. The U.S. pledge of $3 billion – not to exceed 30% of total confirmed pledges by donors – is a step up from the U.S. pledge for the CIFs in 2008, as is appropriate given the ambition of the GCF. An appropriation of $500 million puts the U.S. on the right path to fulfilling this pledge.
Finally, consistent with the President’s FY2016 budget request, InterAction recommends $230.3 million to complete the U.S. payment to the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) in FY2016, including $170.68 million for the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), and $59.62 million for the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF). With bipartisan support, the U.S. pledged $2 billion to the CIFs in 2008, originally intended to be paid over three years. This $230.3 million payment would complete that pledge. The CTF promotes financing for low-carbon technologies that significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The SCF includes programs that enhance climate resilience, increase renewable energy use, and support efforts to reduce deforestation. The CIFs are expected to begin a sunsetting process now that the GCF has become operational, so no further contributions will be required after this final payment.
Bhutan improves disaster preparedness
Bhutan is one of the most disaster-prone countries in Asia and is exceptionally vulnerable to extreme weather, including flash floods, landslides, windstorms, earthquakes, forest fires, and glacial lake outburst floods. Climate change has already intensified Bhutan’s vulnerability to these shocks, particularly in terms of disruptions in the monsoonal system and increasing and intensifying trends of extreme hydro-meteorological hazards.
The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) is supporting the government of Bhutan to integrate climate-change-induced risk reduction in its disaster management framework and practices and to help build capacity at the national and local levels, focusing on the Punakha-Wangdi and Chamkhar valleys. Both valleys are among Bhutan’s most vulnerable valleys to glacial lake outburst floods, potentially causing enormous human and economic devastation, especially in rural areas where the majority of the population practices rain-fed agriculture and lives in poverty.
The five-year, $7.6 million project ($3.4 million from the LDCF with the remainder contributed through co-financing), which began in 2008 and concluded in December 2012, has already made progress to legislate a Disaster Management Bill, increased local capacity through community-based disaster risk management workshops, reduced the water level of Thorthormi lake, and has plans to install a glacier lake outburst flood early warning system. In 2012, LDCF approved another project in Bhutan, including $11.5 million in grant funding, to build on the successes of the first project and will enhance national and local capacity to manage climate induced disasters.