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India gets $43.4 million from world's largest fund for climate action

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India Today
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UN-backed fund has approved $43.4 million for enhancing climate resilience for millions of people living in India's coastal communities as part of its efforts to combat extreme impacts of climate change.

The grant is a part of more than $1 billion approved by the Green Climate Fund for 19 new projects to help developing countries tackle climate change.

Towards a better future

The new project will be supported through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is an essential step for India in reaching its goals outlined in the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

These global compacts call on every nation to end poverty and hunger by 2030 and to take strong action to ensure no one is left behind in protecting vulnerable people from the extreme impacts of climate change.

Green Climate Fund Board sets up the world's largest dedicated fund for climate action

The 21st meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board ended Sunday in Bahrain's capital Manama, approving over one billion dollars of new projects and programmes to support climate action in developing countries, and formally launching its first replenishment, a statement released by the fund said.

These 19 new projects amount to a total investment from GCF of $1,038 million, and including co-financing, the projects will channel over $4,244 million of climate finance for low-emission, climate-resilient development.

At the end of the four-day meeting, the Board decided to launch the process for the Green Climate Fund's first formal replenishment, marking a key moment in the development of the world's largest dedicated fund for climate action.

Funding approved at the meeting in Manama includes projects linked to geothermal energy in Indonesia and greener cities in Europe and the Middle East.

1.7 million people will get direct benefit from projects

Under the project, over 1.7 million people are expected to directly benefit from livelihoods support, with another 10 million indirectly benefitting from improved shoreline protection, the UNDP said in a statement.

In reaching the Sustainable Development Goals for gender equality and reduced inequalities, the project is focused on providing tangible benefits for women, female-headed households, young people and the elderly, and members of Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

Over 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 will be sequestered through restored ecosystems over the next 30 years.

GCF to assist the impact of climate change on India's coasts

"India's coastal areas are quite vulnerable to climate change and this project focuses on selected vulnerable areas of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha states. The new project, with GCF assistance, will not only help enhance resilience and adaptability but also lead to emissions reduction while providing support to local communities for their livelihoods," said Ravi S Prasad, Joint Secretary, Climate Change, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of India.

The Government of India will finance an additional $86.8 million toward the new project to mainstream and accelerate the impacts of the Green Climate Fund grant, it said.

To protect life on land and below water as outlined in the 2030 Agenda, project activities will focus on the restoration and conservation of over 15,000 hectares of mangroves, coral reefs, seagrasses and saltmarshes. Communities, including local youth, will be trained to work with scientists in monitoring ecosystem health and coastal ecology, the UNDP statement said.

"In addition to helping communities establish more climate-resilient livelihoods, this multi-dimensional project will contribute to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - over 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 will be absorbed through restored ecosystems," said Francine Pickup, Country Director at UNDP India.

"It will also have considerable long-term environmental benefits including healthier ecosystems, better biodiversity conservation and improved buffering against climate change-driven extreme weather," said Francine Pickup, Country Director at UNDP India.

Coastal management in line with climate change

To strengthen climate risk-informed coastal management and infrastructure planning, the innovative project will create an online decision-support tool available via mobile phone for use by government officers, academic institutions, community members and scientists. The project will also build local knowledge of climate change and the associated risks via training and public education programmes.

India's coastline is expected to be among the regions most affected by climate change globally. The Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea are both predicted to be subject to extreme climate variability, with the frequency and intensity of cyclones and extreme weather events projected to increase, particularly on the eastern coastline, the statement said.

India has about 6,740 km square of mangroves, including some of the largest mangrove forests in the world. Mangrove cover along India's coastline has decreased by 50 per cent in some areas, largely because of human pressures, including alteration of flow of freshwater from upstream. Sea-level rise is predicted to result in further reductions, it added.

About GCF

The GCF was set up in 2010 under the UNFCCC's (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) financial mechanism to channel funding from developed countries to developing countries to allow them to lessen climate change and also adapt to disruptions arising from a changing climate.

The fund is governed and supervised by a board that has the full responsibility for funding decisions and that receives the guidance of the COP (conference of the parties). The fund is accountable to and functions under the guidance of, the COP.

Author: Sustainability Outlook Desk