Statement by the Co-Chairs of the Global Partnership for Effective Devel-opment Co-operation (GPEDC)
We, the Co-Chairs of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, are deeply concerned about the impact of climate change on the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people everywhere. We are keen to see development co-opera-tion as a catalyst for improving climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives at country and local levels.
Addressing the climate crisis is one of the most defining global challenges of our time. It is vital in reaching global agreements from 2015 – the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Six years later, with greenhouse gas emissions and global temperatures rising considerably and in view of the recent IPCC report providing evidence that links extreme weather events with anthropogenic climate change, we look forward to decisive deliberations at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be held in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November this year. The preparations for COP26 show that important steps have been made, but more concerted action is needed on mitigation and adaptation, resilience and finance.
The climate agenda is intrinsically a development (effectiveness) agenda. It is inseparable from efforts to advance sustainable development including development co-operation. Climate action is channelled through development co-operation instruments. Integrating national climate plans into partner countries’ development and economic agendas requires dedicated capacity support and improved access to climate finance, especially for Least Developed Countries.
Effective development co-operation and effective partnerships can and must be enablers of net-zero and climate-resilient pathways. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that the effectiveness and flexibility of all types of development co-operation are more important than ever to respond to emerging needs. The climate crisis is forcing drastic adjustments and changes to ‘business as usual’. It requires a response to new demands in ways that address climate and development challenges in more mutually reinforcing ways. Low-emissions and resilient development pathways are instrumental for all countries.
To achieve this, the principles of effective development co-operation can bring important insights to the ambitions to fight climate change through development co-operation. By applying the four principles to climate and environmental policy and practice, experts in national administrations, multilateral and bilateral entities, civil society, the private sector and others can help ensure that all efforts to fight climate change become more targeted and coordinated to support countries most in need and in particular the most vulnerable populations:
- Country Ownership: Each government must be able to set its own national plans and priorities for climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience, guided by globally agreed objectives. This ethos is at the heart of the Paris Agreement in the form of Nationally Determined Contributions. Development co-operation dedicated to climate action should be adapted to the long-term horizon of the challenge it seeks to address and support the readiness of countries to absorb climate finance allocations. This requires ongoing, open and inclusive dialogue and adequate capacity to facilitate partner country governments’ better access to such resources whilst ensuring that providers including Multilateral Development Banks and the Global Climate Fund provide their funds flexibly, in a timely manner and aligned with countries’ priorities, as reflected in their national cli-mate mitigation and adaptation plans. Engaging civil society is key to build con-sensus on the societal priorities for such plans. The use of national systems for public financial management, procurement and monitoring and evaluation of cli-mate finance allocations is another important step towards country ownership.
- Focus on Results: With the objectives of the Paris Agreement centre-stage, development co-operation activities that contribute to the fight against climate change should be geared towards having a lasting impact on eradicating poverty and reducing inequality, targeting those furthest behind, and promoting the transition to a sustainable future, aligned with the priorities of each country. This requires greater harmonisation of climate and development-related results frameworks and to strike a balance between short-term results and longer-term capacity building, learning and knowledge sharing.
- Inclusive Partnerships: While the different and complementary roles of governments, climate entities, civil society and the private sector – in the spirit of a ‘whole-of-society’-approach to climate action – is well recognised, harnessing the complementary roles of these stakeholders to reduce the effects of climate change on the most vulnerable and ensuring that the benefits and burdens of climate action are equitably distributed is challenging in practice. One vital enabler is to provide incentives for large players to support open civic space and an enabling business environment where civil society and local private actors are involved in co-creating inclusive development outcomes and partnerships that can press for just solutions in the climate crisis. The Kampala Principles for effective private sector engagement in development co-operation provide critical guidance for working with local private partners.
- Transparency & Accountability: Programmatic and financing instruments in support of the transition to a net-zero emissions economy throughout the global South – including those to mobilise additional private finance – require transparency to demonstrate, among others, their impact on sustainable development. Dedicated open and inclusive discussion around how climate finance can support Nationally Determined Contributions, including in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) where such mechanisms are strong, is critical for effective planning and accountability purposes.
Experiences and lessons of the diverse partners leading the GPEDC on how to apply the effectiveness principles can help to unleash more effective development co-operation and partnerships for impactful climate action at country level. The global multi-stakeholder alliance of effectiveness advocates engaged in the GPEDC has collected and shared many lessons on how national and local governments, multilateral and bilateral agencies, the private sector, foundations, civil society, trade unions and parliamentarians are partnering together and providing their development co-operation effectively.
We encourage all interested parties to use the road to the next GPEDC High-Level Meeting in 2022 to deepen our common understanding of how effective development co-operation can support all partners in making climate action more effective.