UN climate chief urges greater support for developing countries

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres arrives in Kathmandu, Nepal for her 28-30 April 2014 mission. Photo: UNFCC

30 April 2014 – Highlighting local climate action happening on the ground in developing countries, the top United Nations climate official today called for greater international support to help these communities harness local knowledge and ingenuity.

“There is still a gap between intent and full implementation that will allow vulnerable countries to make the most of their own abilities and adapt at a faster and more decisive scale,” Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres said while in Kathmandu, Nepal.

She was addressing the 8th Annual Community Based Adaptation Conference, which focused on issues such as how to ensure international finance can reach communities in need and how the private sector can better support such communities to adapt to climate change.

“Nepal itself is estimated to be losing one per cent of its GDP [gross domestic product] to floods and landslides alone, a figure that will only rise unless the global community puts in place the policies and the pathways to bend the emissions curve down and climate proof communities and development here and across the vulnerable world,” said Ms. Figueres.

Ms. Figueres drew attention to the UN-backed Green Climate Fund (GCF), established to become a major conduit of finance for developing country climate action, and in urgent need of resources.

“At least ten billion dollars are urgently needed as initial capitalization so the GCF can operate quickly and at scale,” she said.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is convoking a climate summit this September, expected to build momentum for a strong global climate agreement in 2015. This weekend, a special two-day high- level meeting will be held from 4-5 May in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to encourage announcements of greater action and ambition by world leaders at that upcoming summit.

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