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Shaping Green Climate Fund policies

21 November 2017


By AIDMI team

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is dynamic and evolving. After COP 23 in Bonn, Germany, what are the best ways to keep the GCF relevant and responsive? Three new and updated policies of GCF have been put up for public comments, viz. Environmental and Social Management System; Indigenous People's Policy; and Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Policy and Action Plan. These three policies represent the first attempt to align GCF more directly with COP 23 Bonn outcomes.

Since 1995, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), has worked on integrating disaster risk with climate risk to engender resilient development. The following comments on all three policies have been made drawing from AIDMI's work in 65 cities and 89 districts in India to Integrate Disaster Risk Reduction with Climate Change Adaptation since Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) SREX report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation in 2012. These comments also draw from over seven years of pioneering work of Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) in India. These comments are divided into four areas meant to shape the evolution of GCF into an effective and transformative global agent of green transformation.

One, there is a need to give more focus on the sub-national initiatives—may it be environmental and social policy or gender policy—as it is these initiatives that make a major difference in the lives of the people and their daily incomes.

Two, a greater focus is required on the urban risks faced by women and the girl child because such risks can be addressed and contained faster in the existing settlement and community patterns.

Three, investment must be made in supporting initiatives around heatwave—either through focussing on farmers in tribal areas or women street vendors in cities—as this is one of the fastest growing hazards and can be tamed with cost-effective multi-purpose initiatives.

Four, a direct focus on the loss and damage caused by floods and heavy rains is needed. This is important because the unprecedented floods of 2017 affected the lives of over 35 million Indian citizens. Therefore, social and environmental policies should adequately focus on and address the risks of flood and heavy rains related loss and damage.

In 2016 AIDMI, with CDKN support, held a series of local consultations after Paris Agreement—with groups of women, tribals, youth, corporate leaders, coastal farmers and state authorities—to consolidate what are the achievements of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and what are the opportunities that lie ahead. Through the course of these consultations, the above mentioned four areas came up in addition to ecosystem driven agriculture, sustainable forestry and diversified urban transportation-related opportunities for GCF. The findings were offered to Niti Aayog within India and to a wide range of donors including the European Union and DFID, UK.

Civil Society Organisation (CSO) can give more detailed inputs in this process drawing from COP 23 Bonn achievements as well as play an active role in facilitating the use and implementation of these policies in GCF day-to-day work. CSOs can hold policy events with key partners among the women's groups and tribal leadership; organise capacity trainings on environmental and social policies; and develop pilots in schools and hospitals and offices or districts.

We have caused climate change and it is up to us to shape GCF policies in a way that will transform the development path ahead.

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