New UN initiative to help governments tackle climate change problems

Nukunonu Atoll seaside, one of the regions of the world vulnerable to climate change

5 November 2008 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a new initiative to help both national governments and local regions strengthen their capacity to deal with the challenges posed by climate change.

The initiative was unveiled at the World Summit of Regions on Climate Change, which was held last week in St. Malo, France, UNDP announced in a press release issued today.

Under the initiative, developing and emerging economies will receive extra resources to deal with climate change through collaborations with regional authorities in developing countries, and from carbon trading mechanisms.

Christophe Nuttall, director of UNDP’s HUB for Innovative Partnerships, said the current approach to dealing with global warming challenges favoured the development of numerous small, dispersed and fragmented projects.

“We believe it would be useful to develop a complementary [and] yet comprehensive integrated local planning framework that involves sub-national governments in the search for solutions,” he said.

“These sub-national authorities need to integrate climate and carbon-related constraints in local planning instruments in order to transform their local economies into a vibrant force for sustainable development.”

Yannick Glemarec, UNDP Director for Environment Finance, said the new initiative will help poor communities in developing countries access new funding sources, such as carbon finance, special insurance products and innovative funds for adaptation.

“These funds will then be available to communities to channel into public projects that will reduce poverty, improve livelihoods and stimulate economic development,” Mr. Glemarec said.

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