Frequently asked questions

Who can benefit from the EU GCCA+?

Drought affected area
Drought affected area - Bangladesh 
© EU GCCA+ EU Delegation - 2013

The EU GCCA+ flagship initiative targets mostly but not exclusively the recipients of aid in the group of Least Developed Countries (LDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in line with the official OECD/DAC and UN lists. 
The EU GCCA+ primarily works through financing agreements with partner countries, including via budget support, grant and delegation agreements with EU Member State agencies and other agreements with international organisations. Regional organisations and civil society organisations (CSO) may also be supported by EU GCCA+ actions via grants. 
As part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) – EU policy dialogue and cooperation on climate change, there is a specific EU GCCA+ Intra-ACP Programme.

On what does the EU GCCA+ focus?

In line with the OECD Rio Marking and EU commitments on climate action, all EU GCCA+ projects must primarily aim at o facilitating the transition to a climate-resilient, low-carbon future in line with the 2°C target. They must also foster a common understanding of the risks, costs and challenges posed by climate change, the benefits of climate-resilient, low-carbon development, and the links to the Sustainable Development Agenda
A EU-funded GCCA+ action will pursue “an objective of climate change adaptation (CCA) and/or climate change mitigation (CCM) and/or disaster risk reduction (DRR) to contribute to strengthened climate resilience". Targeting all these objectives at the same time is encouraged but not compulsory to benefit from EU GCCA+ support. For instance, a sustainable reforestation / forest management project may, at the same time, improve carbon sequestration and support community livelihoods and resilience to the adverse effects of climate change.


What is a climate change adaptation (CCA) intervention?

A CCA intervention aims to reduce the vulnerability of human or natural systems to the current and expected impacts of climate change, including climate variability, by maintaining or increasing resilience, through a greater ability to adapt to, or absorb, climate change stresses, shocks and variability and/or by helping reduce exposure to them. The Sendai Framework for Risk Reduction (2015-2030) underlines the need to address climate change as a driver of disaster risk, calling for better adaptation of linking and risk reduction action.


What is a climate change mitigation (CCM) intervention?

A CCM intervention typically contributes to the goal of stabilising greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere by promoting efforts to reduce or limit GHG emissions or to enhance GHG sequestration.


What are the main priorities for EU GCCA+?

The EU GCCA+ initiative’s three main priority areas are:

  • Mainstreaming climate change issues into poverty reduction and development efforts. This refers to the integration of climate adaptation and mitigation objectives, strategies, policies, measures or operations so that they become part of national and regional development policies, processes and budgeting systems at all levels and stages. 
  • Increasing resilience to climate-related stresses and shocks. Through this, the EU GCCA+ aims at  improving the capacity and ability of communities, countries and/or regions to withstand, adapt and recover from climate-related stresses and shocks (disaster risk management and reduction);
  • Supporting the formulation and implementation of concrete and integrated sector-based climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. This implies a deep understanding of the implications of climate change at the level of a chosen sector, including through poverty and socio-economic impact analysis. This links to National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and/or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).


What types of intervention are sustained by the EU GCCA+?

The EU GCCA+ initiative’s paramount intention is to support the most vulnerable countries in coping with the effects of climate change and to enhance policy dialogue on climate change, including international negotiations under the the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Actions funded under this EU flagship initiative want to make a difference for climate-vulnerable groups, following inclusive sustainable development principles, while supporting partner countries in the preparation and implementation of national strategies and plans that ensure the proper implementation of their UNFCCC and other climate-related commitments.
Therefore, the EU GCCA+ is keen to assist partners in:

  • Identifying adaptation and/or mitigation approaches with a direct contribution to the priorities set out in their reference climate strategies, such as NDCs and NAPs, and promoting their linkages with national strategies and plans dedicated to sustainable development and climate change;
  • Structuring and establishing comprehensive governance systems, policy frameworks, accountability frameworks including monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV), financing systems, and boosting capacity and knowledge management of climate-related issues and risks;
  • Implementing national and local climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions that have a tangible impact on people’s lives and increase resilience;
  • Carrying out cost-benefit analysis and integrated ecosystem assessments leading to the design and implementation of sustainable policies protecting climate-sensitive ecosystem services and public goods, thereby ensuring long-term access to water and energy sources and infrastructure, protection of coastal zones, sustainable agriculture and food security systems, and sustainable use of land resources, etc.


What are typical activities for EU GCCA+?

Typical activities include:

  • Strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of human and natural systems to climate-related natural hazards and disasters (e.g. climate smart agriculture, integrated coastal-zone management, mangrove restoration, the protection and restoration of degraded watersheds, and improving the sustainability of ecosystem services);
  • Improving community and institutional capacity on climate change resilience, mitigation, adaptation, risk reduction and early warning (e.g. integrating participatory DRR and climate change adaptation, developing national climate change policies and roadmaps);
  • Promoting mechanisms for raising capacities for effective climate-change-related planning and management, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalised communities (e.g. mainstreaming climate change issues into national and local government planning and budgeting systems, and increasing the finances available to local governments for implementing climate strategies).


What measures can be implemented?

‘Structural’ measures related to physical assets, and ‘non-structural’ ones can be considered, namely:  monitoring or emergency response programmes, capacity building, staff training and knowledge and skills transfer activities, the development of strategic or corporate climate risk assessment and management frameworks (based on a thorough assessment of institutional capacities and development needs), and financial solutions. Combining the two types of measures is recommended to increase resilience to climate change.

This can be achieved in any thematic sector which is highly relevant to climate change adaptation (e.g. agriculture and food security, water, coastal-zone management, disaster risk reduction, environment and biodiversity, energy-efficient infrastructure) and/or mitigation (e.g. forestry, agriculture and land use, and energy). While all significant climate issues are eligible for the EU GCCA+, special attention should be paid to access to and management of water, the sustainable use of natural resources and land use, risk-management planning, ecosystem-based management, adaptation and mitigation synergies and co-benefits, infrastructure design and sustainable urban development, gender issues and climate-induced migration.
Where there is a need for guidance, or doubt about the ‘climate-relevance’ of any proposed activity, programming officers are invited to consult Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) Unit F1 ' Sustainable Energy, Climate Change'  and / or the EU GCCA+ Support Facility.