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Climate finance MRV framework still forming, but funds and migrants continue to flow . . .

By Chloe Mcenery Beacham

Climate change is reshaping the security landscape in many parts of the world, the climate-conflict nexus exacerbating enforced migration and contributing to instability - featuring heavily in one of the focus regions of Climatekos’ work in recent years, the MENA region, with a constant migration stream from MENA countries and parts of Africa pushing towards Europe. A recent UNDP report addressing resources and security in the Arab States - the planet’s most water-scarce, food-import-dependent, with the largest population of displaced people and rising levels of conflict - warns climate risks threaten development, and could cause a spike in ‘eco-migrants’, with July’s UN Global Compact for Migration further underscoring the need to integrate this ‘new reality’ into policy practice.

As security challenges are interlinked with climate change, so too are there linkages between migration and the Sustainable Development Goals, notably SDG 10.7, facilitating orderly, safe and responsible migration. Arab and other governments are incorporating climate action into their SDG efforts, and the WRI and GIZ are calling for closer alignment of SDGs and NDCs, advocating interlinking the advancement of the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With regards to implementing the Paris Agreement, supplementary climate change talks in preparation for COP24 were just held in Bangkok, with climate finance and how developed countries should report their contributions emerging as one of the crunch topics for the COP in Katowice at the end of the year.

Key to harnessing the synergies across the four distinct but interconnected agendas are the financial tools and mechanisms of the public, and private, sectors. Providing an enabling environment to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable economy, multi-stakeholder engagement and public-private partnerships can help leverage these synergies to ramp up implementation and join up action against the ‘threat multiplier’ of climate change, mainstreaming and scaling up mitigation and adaptation and thereby resilience.

In this context, the Union for the Mediterranean Secretariat (UFMS) and the EU commissioned a study analysing International public climate finance flows to the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries (2016), tracking flows to 15 countries including Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco - the top 3 recipients of climate finance comprising 75% of total commitments, viz. USD 6 billion. Whilst preliminary estimates for 2016 were published in December 2017 (Climatekos, 2017), the current update incorporates the latest data using best practice methodologies from the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) database, the most complete single data source on climate finance to date tracking a wide range of bilateral and multilateral institutions.

Tracking climate finance flows is challenging; lack of standardised tracking methodologies, inconsistencies in publicly available records, and human and/or systematic error amongst other issues mean total aggregates are subject to uncertainties, with private climate finance and domestic expenditure rarely documented - problems also identified in the biennial UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows produced for COP22 in Marrakech, which had highlighted these issues. Nevertheless this analysis represents the move towards more standardised approaches, enabling dataset comparability and more robust, transparent reporting.

Looking ahead to COP24 in Katowice and the deadline to develop operational guidelines for the Paris Agreement, despite discord at the recent GCF meeting prompting questions about climate finance challenges, several multilateral development banks advanced their climate finance targets in July supporting mitigation and adaptation projects, and SDG-NDC nexus synergies are gaining momentum. Brexit’s destabilising effect on the EU, far-right nationalist parties gaining traction on immigration across Europe and the trade war looming with the US are headwinds against the cohesion and convergence of purpose and policy needed to address the growing challenges of a changing climate. Climatekos sees this work as a contribution towards a consolidated financial reporting framework facilitating coordinated tracking and MRV of climate action. However, can documented evidence of climate finance flows to adaptation, mitigation and increased resilience in the MENA region, intended to further socio-economic development based on climate action and green growth strategies, contribute to overcome the (eco)conflict-migration conundrum, or what (else) is missing?

Figure 1. International public climate finance flows to the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries - Updated results for 2016 (July 2018).

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