SACFP Newsletter #4
March 2019
Dear *|FNAME|*

Welcome to the fourth newsletter of the Southern Africa Climate Finance Partnership, a climate finance programme of SouthSouthNorth! The newsletter provides you with updates on the progress of the programme, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), climate finance activities in Southern Africa and relevant events and resources. You can expect to receive this newsletter every quarter. If you have received this newsletter via your network and would like to receive regular updates from SACFP, please subscribe.

If you would like to get in touch with the team, please contact us on
SACFP project highlights
SACFP in conversation with Zaheer Fakir
Peer-to-peer learning concerning how to mobilise climate finance lies at the heart of what the SACFP is looking to achieve. To this end, the SACFP sat down with Zaheer Fakir - Chief Policy Advisor at South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs, and former Co-Chair of the GCF Board - to hear more about his journey through the Green Climate Fund (GCF). He shared his insights from his tenure as a GCF Board member, translating the paradigm shift potential that the GCF could have for Africa.

Study on South Africa's private sector climate finance opportunities
The SACFP commissioned an independent study on the potential private sector investment priorities that support South Africa’s climate change outcomes. SSN’s Blaise Dobson shares his perspectives on why this study is timely from South Africa’s climate finance journey and his views on the study’s highlights.

Namibian experience with the GCF's Simplified Approvals Process
SACFP in-country engagements
On the 21st of February 2019, the SACFP team held a workshop in Gaborone, the objective being to help the Botswana NDA understand the GCF’s Gender Policy and Action Plan, alongside key ministries involved in gender mainstreaming in the country. The workshop also touched on how the requirements of the GCF’s Environmental and Social Safeguards can enhance the GCF’s principle of country ownership.

In early March 2019, the SACFP team travelled to Harare with two members of the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s climate finance team. The purpose of the trip was to undertake two bilateral exchanges with FBC Holdings Limited and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe regarding the GCF accreditation journey. The DBSA team shared their experiences seeking accreditation, answered specific concerns of the entities and imparted their lessons learnt in GCF project design. The SACFP also used the opportunity to meet with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries regarding the role that the domestic private sector could play in delivering climate outcomes in Zimbabwe.
Comments on the GCF's 22nd Board Meeting

The 22nd GCF Board Meeting was held in Songdo, South Korea from 26 to 28 February 2019. The Board Meeting opened with the selection of Yannick Glemarec as the new Executive Director of the GCF Secretariat, and addressed a number of key issues:
  • The Board set the stage for the GCF’s First Formal Replenishment which will proceed through a series of meetings during 2019 (note also that GCF Executive Director ad interim Javier Manzanares met with United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York during January 2019);
  • Taking note of independent evaluation of the GCF Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme, the Board adopted a USD122.5 million work programme for a new phase of readiness support to developing countries in 2019;
  • The Board also welcomed recommendations from the Independent Evaluation Unit on how to improve the Results Management Framework; and
  • The Board decided to introduce new investment criteria indicators.
The Board approved nine projects at the meeting, totalling USD440 million in GCF funding, including two projects based in SACFP target countries. The GCF has now approved funding of USD5 billion, generating a total of USD17.6 billion in funding for projects across 97 countries. Nine new Accredited Entities (AEs) were approved, including seven Direct Access AEs, two of which are based in Africa. The GCF has accredited a total of 84 AEs to date, including 48 Direct Access AEs, 11 of which are based in Africa (three of these are based in South Africa – the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia, and South African National Biodiversity Institute).

SSN's Michael Hayman has summarised the Board Meeting here.
Other climate finance news

Developments relating to other climate funds
Global political and financial developments related to climate change
  • The World Economic Forum met in Davos, Switzerland in January 2019. The Global Risks Report 2018 included a survey of 1,000 experts from government, business, academia, and non-governmental organisations. It identified extreme weather as the top risk to the world’s economy, by likelihood. The risk of governments failing to limit the magnitude of climate change, and adapt to it, rose to second place.
  • At COP24, a record of 420 investors managing over USD32 trillion, through The Investor Agenda, called on world governments to: achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals; accelerate private sector investment into the low-carbon transition; and commit to improve climate-related financial reporting. See further coverage by the UNEP Finance Initiative and The Guardian.
  • Also at COP24, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development launched New Energy Solutions, a project aiming to draw on cross-sectoral collaboration to scale up pre-commercial and proven low-carbon technologies that are being deployed too slowly across the power, transport, industry, and building sectors.
  • BP is backing a shareholder call to align its strategy with the Paris Agreement’s goals.
  • The EAT-Lancet Commission is delivering the first full scientific review of what constitutes a healthy diet from a sustainable food system, and which actions can support and speed up food system transformation; they have released a summary report. A coalition of investors, with around USD6.5 trillion under management, is calling on leading fast food suppliers to cut carbon and water risks in their dairy and meat suppliers.
  • UN Security Council Members have called on the UN to establish a system to alert the world to regions where conflicts may be inflamed by climate change.

The rising cost of extreme weather
According to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service2018 was the fourth warmest year on record. It was also the hottest La Nina year ever recorded. This summary by CarbonBrief includes more detail on how the world warmed in 2018. Weather extremes have accelerated in 2019, with Australia experiencing its hottest summer on record, and much of North America experiencing extreme cold. A paper published in Nature by a range of authors in November 2018 found traceable evidence for 467 pathways by which human health, water, food, economy, infrastructure, and security have been recently impacted by climate hazards. A paper published in Nature Sustainability in January 2019 found that food shocks have become more frequent over the last half-century, driven by an increase in extreme weather events and political instability. El Nino weather systems bring drought threats for business in Southern Africa, as evidenced by effects experienced during the 2015/2016 El Nino.

Aon insurance estimated that extreme weather cost the global economy USD 215 billion in 2018. According to Munich Reinsurance Company, natural disasters caused USD 160 billion in 2018 – a reduction from 2017, when several devastating hurricanes made for higher overall losses. A report from Christian Aid identified ten extreme weather events in 2018 that cost over USD 1 billion each, with four of these costing over USD 7 billion each. The Guardian produced a visual guide to illustrate the human cost of 2018’s climate disasters. At COP24 in December, a proposal supported by the World Wildlife Fund, among others recommended taxing the extraction of fossil fuels to help pay for the growing costs of damage from extreme weather.

The World Health Organisation produced a special report on health and climate change, as an input to UNFCCC COP24, urging delegates to save millions of lives by tackling climate change. The International Monetary Fund has estimated that subsidies to the fossil fuel industry exceed USD 5 billion per year – more than all governments currently spend on healthcare. The Lancet Countdown 2018 report – an annual review of the scientific evidence of climate change’s effect on human health, produced by 27 academic organisations from across the world – found that pressure from heat-related illnesses and extreme weather could overwhelm health services. The report also found that climate change is negatively impacting human nutrition, mental well-being, and labourer’s capacity to work outdoors.

Despite the clear effects of climate change, carbon emissions rose for the first time in four years, during 2017, according to the United Nation’s Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) Emissions Gap Report 2018. On the other hand, the Emissions Gap Report 2018 suggested that existing NDCs under the Paris Agreement are not sufficient – they would have to be tripled to limit warming below 2C, and increased fivefold to limit warming below 1.5C.
Upcoming events
April 2019
  • NAP Expo 2019: 08-12 April 2019, Songdo, Republic of Korea
  • Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund: 12-14 April 2019, Washington DC, USA
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