Media headlines about climate change are largely focused on problems, obstacles and challenges. Bad news sells, right? One of the most covered news story of 2017 is Donald Trump withdrawing from the Paris Agreement – and it's right that it should get so much attention because it’s a big deal.
Sometimes news like this leads me to feel that we are not collectively doing enough to manage the risks of climate change and that it is an insurmountable issue. I know that is not the case. But it’s good to take the opportunity to remind ourselves of some positive news.
The Paris Agreement is an unprecedented commitment to address the challenges of climate change. Alongside that, the significance of the commitments by businesses, organisations and governments to a global sustainable development agenda should not be underestimated.
It’s easy to forget the positive momentum that COP 21 and subsequent Paris Agreement generated, because this doesn’t always make the news and as humans, we have a natural negativity bias. But the momentum does continue.
There has been a lot going on in the world of international climate finance. Here are four examples of initiatives that are providing the resources, funding and capabilities to help countries move forward in their commitments to limit dangerous climate change.
- The NDC Partnership is an initiative formed to help countries access the technical knowledge and financial support they need to achieve large-scale climate and sustainable development targets as quickly and effectively as possible. Nationally determined contributions (NDC) are the targets laid out be countries to manage and reduce emissions as part of the Paris Agreement. The NDC Partnership aims to build capabilities and resources on a country level so that nations can create a plan to ensure their climate policies have meaningful and enduring impacts, and drive increasing global ambition over time.
- The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) promotes the development and growth of environmentally sound technologies for low carbon and climate resilient development at the request of developing countries. They aim to provide technology solutions, capacity building and advice on policy, legal and regulatory frameworks tailored to the needs of individual countries. Examples of work include improving recycling capacity in Gambia and assessing flood mitigation methods in Tbilisi, Georgia.
- The Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform is a High-level Political Forum operated by the United Nations. It acts as a central platform to monitor the global sustainable development agenda. It is targeted at all member states of the UN as well as partners and other stakeholders. The platform is a vast source of information on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs.
- The Green Climate Fund is the Paris Agreement's most significant financial mechanism. It is already operational, has $10 billion of capital and has enabled 43 large projects to occur. The GCF has recently launched a call for tender to allocate $500 million to projects allowing climate change mitigation and adaptation through leveraging private capital. The GCF also offers technical and financial support for countries to prepare project proposals and get ready to take advantage of climate funding.