New tool has potential to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in climate finance for peace
- Impact Area
Authors: Marianne Gadeberg, Independent Communications Consultant & Cesare Scartozzi, CGIAR Focus Climate Security, The Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT
During the 28th Climate Change Conference (COP 28), the CGIAR Climate Resilience (ClimBeR) and the Fragility, Conflict and Migration (FCM) Initiatives will launch the Climate Security Programming Dashboard for Climate Finance (CSPDxCF). This new tool is designed to support countries, organizations, and businesses seeking finance from international financial institutions (IFIs) and climate funds to assess the conflict sensitivity of their proposed climate mitigation and adaptation projects.
Of 1.3 billion people exposed to climate hazards globally, approximately 40 percent reside in conflict-affected or fragile states. Because conflict and climate vulnerability often co-occur, climate finance has been identified as a promising resource to support countries and communities to build both climate resilience as well as peace and security.
However, opportunities exist to ensure that entities planning and designing climate projects are better equipped to leverage climate finance for these dual goals. That is why researchers of the ClimBeR and FCM Initiatives have developed the CSPDxCF.
The dashboard offers an all-in-one solution for project planners to develop a preliminary conflict-sensitivity assessment and increase the potential for contributing to peace when designing proposals for climate mitigation or adaptation projects. It will be launched at COP 28 during an event, titled Unlocking Climate Finance in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings, at the Food and Agriculture Pavilion, on December 4, 2023.
Meeting an urgent need for peace-responsive climate finance
Developed in partnership with Interpeace, a world-renowned peace-building organization with a global track record of preventing violence and building lasting peace, the CSPDxCF is expected to fill a significant gap by supporting more climate projects to foster peace and social protection. A recently circulated preliminary draft of the COP 28 Climate Relief, Recovery, and Peace Declaration reveals that the COP 28 Presidency is likely to call for immediate action and “urgent” funding to help communities hit by the dual burden of conflict and climate change.
Although IFIs and climate funds are already mobilizing significant financial resources for efforts in conflict-affected settings, they often do so without employing conflict-sensitive approaches. For example, the Green Climate Fund (GCF)—one of the largest multilateral climate funds—allocated about USD 8.5 billion toward climate mitigation and adaptation projects in countries that have experienced forms of organized violence or conflict between 2015 and 2020, yet only a fraction of its projects included conflict assessments.
Too often, applicants seeking finance from multilateral climate funds are not required to assess the conflict sensitivity of their proposed projects.
“Without specific regulations or guidelines, project planners have a hard time anticipating whether their proposed projects are at risk from conflict or fragility. Consequently, most approved projects are conflict blind and unfortunately likely to be exposed to unforeseen operational risks, delays, higher costs, and possible cancellation,” said Cesare M. Scartozzi, Postdoctoral fellow at CGIAR FOCUS Climate Security, a contributor to ClimBeR and FCM.
Indeed, evidence from a 2020 evaluation of the Global Environment Facility—another major climate fund—indicates that when its projects take place in fragile or conflict-affected countries, they are at higher risk of being dropped or canceled. Moreover, a country’s level of fragility was shown to be directly associated with a negative impact on project outcomes. With the CSPDxCF, project planners will be better placed to tackle these risks head on.
Ten minutes well spent: Optimizing climate projects for peace and social protection
The CSPDxCF is an online portal that provides context-specific tailored guidance to project teams navigating the complexities of designing climate initiatives in fragile and conflict-affected settings.
When accessing the virtual portal, project planners are prompted to complete a ten-minute project design survey, which highlights potential conflict risks—considering the project country and targeted sectors—while suggesting tailored strategies for risk mitigation. In this way, CSPDxCF can be used as a screening tool in the early stages of project design, helping project planners to determine the resources required to effectively assess and address risks.
In addition, the dashboard pinpoints opportunities for incorporating strategies and best practices that can improve a project’s potential for furthering peace and social protection. “We wanted to offer not only a preliminary assessment of risks, but also a list of action points and detailed guidance for how to move ahead with each project,” added Scartozzi.
An add-on module to the CSPDxCF is designed specifically for projects seeking finance from the GCF. The module provides guidance briefs tailored to the sectors the GCF targets for investments: health, food, water; livelihoods; infrastructure and built environment; ecosystems; energy; transport; buildings, cities, industries; forest and land uses. These guidance briefs are the result of a collaboration between CGIAR and Interpeace.
The development of the CSPDxCF has been informed by ClimBeR and FCM’s previous work to create the Climate Security Sensitivity Tool (CSST), which offers planners of agricultural climate-adaptation programs guidance on how to account for conflict and insecurity, while ensuring effective project implementation that contributes to building peace.
CGIAR: Building an ecosystem of actors to further peace-responsive climate finance
Immediately following the launch of the CSPDxCF during COP 28, the tool will be publicly available for use by all entities planning and designing climate mitigation and adaptation projects.
One of the first users is expected to be CGIAR itself, which is a GCF accredited entity and is building a pipeline of projects representing hundreds of millions of dollars of climate finance. One project currently under development by CGIAR and a couple of West African countries is intended to pilot a conflict-sensitive version of the previously very successful climate-smart villages—a standout innovation that has proved to make a difference for local communities as they adopt climate-smart technologies and information services. Use of the CSPDxCF will help ensure that the project design accounts for conflict and fragility risks.
But the efforts do not stop with CGIAR:
“Our goal is to convene an ecosystem of donors, IFIs, climate funds, and project planners to collaborate on promoting conflict-sensitive and peace-responsive investments and to mobilize a greater share of climate finance toward fragile and conflict-affected settings,” concluded Scartozzi.
ClimBeR and FCM researchers intend to expand the CSPDxCF by collaborating with IFIs and climate funds to include additional add-on modules that match their specific characteristics and can provide tailored guidance to project planners aiming to achieve climate mitigation, adaptation, social protection, and peace.