When the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) was conceived in 2007, the context of international climate action and support was very different from today. In November 2007, 38 industrialised countries made final preparations to mitigate and cut emissions under the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol which started on 1 January 2008. In that month, 192 Parties met in Bali to agree the Bali Action Plan (BAP) which set out a multilateral road map towards a new global agreement made up of five pillars: a shared vision on long-term cooperative action, adaptation, mitigation, technology and financing.
Having started with just four pilot projects in 2008, the GCCA became one of the EU’s major climate initiatives with a global scope. Between 2007-2014, EUR 317.5 million went to support adaptation, resilience and disaster risk reduction in the poorest and most vulnerable countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. In many ways, the GCCA encapsulated the spirit of the BAP, signalling the European Union’s commitment to support climate action in developing countries, including by increasing climate funding for those who needed it most by focusing on adaptation and technical capacity, and to build a global coalition of the willing.
Between 2007 and 2015, with membership having expanded to 196 countries, the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties incrementally stepped towards global action agreed by 195 Parties in Paris in December 2015. A cornerstone of the ambitious Paris Agreement with its 1.5 °C benchmark, is the recognition that rapid industrialisation has put successful climate action beyond the capacity of the 36 developed country Parties to the Kyoto Protocol that had committed to reduce emissions, which in 2014 contributed less than 16% of total global ghg emissions. Global mitigation action is a necessity.
Unlike the top-down targets set under the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement includes a new country-owned system of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). NDCs were conceived as a vehicle for all countries to table their voluntary contributions to global mitigation efforts. Over time, these would be subject to transparent accounting rules, reviews, and a ratcheting mechanism to encourage ever-increasing ambition. Many developing countries included their adaptation actions and financing needs, which meant that the NDCs quickly became a powerful entry point for planning for, and implementing, climate action. Following a review of the GCCA first phase in 2014, GCCA+ was launched in 2015 with some important adjustments that kept pace with the new drive for mitigation by all. The GCCA+ Flagship Initiative has expanded the scope of potential partners from Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States to middleincome countries, and the scope of action to include mitigation. This exciting development is leveraging key elements of the UN Sustainable Development Goals that seek to speed up development while leapfrogging traditional carbon-intensive technologies.
At the time of writing, GCCA+ support has already been extended to included mitigation actions in energy, industry, waste management and agriculture. By December 2020, the GCCA+ will have provided EUR 750 million to around 90 programmes, making it one of the most significant sources of climate finance outside multilateral and bilateral funds.
This issue of the magazine introduces the new repository of resources on adaptation and mitigation, covering Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) methodologies and providing technical explanations and case studies for practitioners. The repository will be a living tool kit which will be updated at least annually. At the 25th Conference of the Parties in Madrid under Chilean presidency, we are sharing some of our work in the waste-management sector in Africa – noting this is a sector in which countries can achieve mitigation and huge public health benefits at the same time. It is also a sector ripe for private-sector investment, which makes it attractive to a new group of domestic and international actors.
As with all GCCA+ support, we invite governments to approach EU delegations in their country to request support to implement NDC actions. The EU and the GCCA+ are committed to climate action that leaves no-one behind.