Funding climate protection

The Board of the Green Climate Fund.
As member of the Green Climate Fund, Switzerland works to ensure that the needs of those most affected by climate change are given consideration. © UNFCCC

Global warming disrupts economic development and threatens to destroy the progress that has been made in reducing poverty. That is why Switzerland incorporates climate protection and the global impact of climate change in its international development policy, and provides expertise, technical solutions and financial resources for climate protection as part of its development projects and via international funding mechanisms.

The SDC's focus

People in developing countries are particularly affected by climate change because their livelihoods depend directly on natural resources. Such countries often lack the financial and technical capacities that are required for climate change adaptation. Climate change impairs both economic and social development globally and compromises what has already been achieved.

Synergies with poverty reduction

Switzerland is active in climate change mitigation and adaptation internationally and aims for its funding for developing countries to be deployed effectively. It takes into account the challenges its partner countries face and anchors its own measures in a long-term strategy to reduce poverty worldwide. To this end, the SDC creates synergies between climate protection and improving food security or governance, for example, to ensure that Switzerland's official development assistance is used in an optimal way.

International financing mechanisms

Switzerland is represented in the steering committees of the most important climate and environment funds, where the SDC advocates in particular for giving adequate attention to the needs of the poorest countries. To do this, the SDC relies on its long-standing experience in its partner countries. It makes sure that policies, procedures and the funding earmarked for climate protection are used to help the weakest people, communities and regions over the long term.

As part of this goal, the SDC was actively involved in creating the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF is aimed at financing eco-friendly measures in developing countries in order to increase sustainable development. Today it is a central component of the international financing for climate protection. Through its representation in the GCF's steering committee, the SDC works actively to ensure greater multilateral cooperation and to promote innovative approaches.

The SDC, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) make contributions to international financing mechanisms for climate change mitigation and adaptation. In the 2015–17 period, Switzerland made its first contribution of USD 100 million to the GCF.

Context

Switzerland works to ensure that the existing approaches to combating climate change are deployed where they can have the largest impact. It aims to ensure that the needs of the people most affected by climate change are taken into account in particular, and that the adaptation measures that are needed receive sufficient funding. The SDC undertakes this work as part of its mandate under the Federal Act on International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid. The international cooperation dispatches set out the priorities for each period. For Switzerland's international cooperation strategy 2021-2024, climate change – a growing challenge for development policy – is a key focus.

Increasing awareness at the international level

Because measures to adapt to climate change and a transition to sustainable development are needed, industrial countries – including Switzerland – are making commitments at the international level. Sustainable Development Goal 13 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underlines the importance of combating climate change and its effects. Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the international community has committed itself to mobilising public and private funds for this. Switzerland has a high degree of credibility in this area because of its careful and sustainable approach to its environment (e.g. recycling, building standards, private sector collaborations) and its highly industrialised economy at the same time. This allows Switzerland to position itself proactively in international discussions and find an audience for its concerns.

Current projects

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Mercy Corps - Building Resilience in Conflict-Affected Communities (BRAC)

01.02.2020 - 31.01.2022

South Kordofan is one of the areas in Sudan were the armed conflict is temporarily halted, but not yet solved, and many communities are still suffering from its consequences. These communities are hosting significant numbers of IDPs and refugees from war torn South Sudan, who share the very limited available resources. The project aims at increasing the resilience of female and male members of vulnerable households to economic, social and climate related shocks through improved access to gender responsive basic services and increased agricultural production.


Contribution to the VII Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean

01.02.2020 - 31.03.2022

Financially support the Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Jamaica 2020 (RPDRR 20) co-convened by CDEMA and UNDRR with a non-earmarked contribution to the overall costs and thereby assist implementation of the Sendai Framework in the Americas. Accompany this contribution by providing assistance in the preparations relying on the experience from previous platforms and the GPDRR 19 and support the participation of key stakeholders in the Americas that exhibit their activities in collaboration with SDC.


Solar Irrigation for Agriculture Resilience (SoLAR)

01.01.2020 - 31.07.2027

To adapt to climate change farmers rely increasingly on irrigation, ultimately depleting groundwater resources and raising energy demand. The project aims to address these challenges by promoting solar irrigation, water efficient agriculture and groundwater governance. The project will harness Swiss expertise on hydrogeology and technical innovations to contribute to climate resilient agriculture and facilitate knowledge sharing in South Asia and at the global level.


Chinese Zero Emission Buildings with Swiss Know-How (ZEB China)

01.01.2020 - 28.02.2025

By upgrading building emission standards, supporting demonstration buildings and enhancing capacities of professionals with Switzerland’s leading know-how on sustainable construction, the project will support low-carbon development of China’s building sector, which is the biggest in the world. It will also benefit the public health by improving the thermal comfort of buildings and reducing air pollution resulting from heating and cooling. 


African Risk Capacity (ARC)

10.12.2019 - 31.12.2022

The African Risk Capacity is a disaster risk management pool and early response mechanism established by the African Union member states against natural disasters like drought, flood, and tropical cyclones, and the outbreak of highly contagious diseases. Its drought insurance and the new insurance products for flood and tropical cyclones enhance the safety nets of smallholder households and thus contributes to food security in Africa.


Clean Air Project in India (CAP India)

01.11.2019 - 30.06.2027

India is one of the most severely affected countries by air pollution in the world. This project will contribute to India’s new National Clean Air Programme, with the aim to improve air quality with co-benefits on public health, environment and climate change. Capacity building and technical assistance through Swiss expertise will support data measurement and analysis, city level clean air action plans and awareness raising campaigns to take precautionary measures and mitigate air pollution.


Grassroots women building resilience and peace in Central America.

01.10.2019 - 31.12.2022

The project enables two thousand grassroots women and their families to implement effective climate adaptation practices and strengthen their voice and leadership to influence related public plans and policies. The exchange of good local practices will be fostered among women in the region, thus increasing their resilience to climate change and variability.


IGGE : Inclusive Green Growth in Egypt

01.09.2019 - 31.12.2023

The main barriers to the competitiveness of the total 2.5 million micro-small-medium enterprises in Egypt are a lack of affordable funding and a mismatch between the needs of the market and the skills available. With its proven expertise in micro-small-medium enterprises Switzerland supports economic growth and more efficient use of resources in Upper Egypt through the model of green economy such as utilizing agricultural waste to create jobs and strengthen livelihoods of communities.


Andean Forest and Climate Change Programme (ANFOR) – Phase II

01.09.2019 - 15.11.2021

The second and last phase of the Andean Forest and Climate Change Programme (ANFOR) will consolidate, share and scale-up validated best practices on how to safeguard mountain forest ecosystems to further shape national forest policies aiming at enhanced resilience of Andean mountain forest ecosystems and increased human wellbeing. The Programme will inform the concerned regional and global dialogue and contribute to an effective implementation of national policies related to environmental integrity.


Landscape Fire Management in the Western Balkans

01.09.2019 - 28.02.2025

Due to a changing climate and unsustainable land use practices, landscape fires have been on the rise in the Western Balkans, while fire management remains generally weak and not adapted for mounting challenges. This initiative will improve capacities in landscape fire management through regional cooperation and strengthen policy and action at national level by articulating the region with multilateral efforts and Swiss know-how and expertise. Local communities, most concerned by landscape fires, will be an integral part of the initiative’s approach to facilitate the establishment of long-term strategies for resilient landscapes.


Capacity Building for Low Carbon and Climate Resilient City Development in India (CapaCITIES)

16.07.2019 - 15.07.2023

India is rapidly urbanizing. The growing Indian cities are affected by climate change but are also important emitters of greenhouse gases. Phase 2 of CapaCITIES aims at enabling climate responsive urban planning in eight cities and two states. Swiss expertise in waste management, transport, water and climate finance will support development of solutions for low-carbon and climate resilient cities. The results of the project in India will be shared through global reporting mechanisms and city coalitions.


Climate Ledger Initiative (CLI)

01.06.2019 - 31.05.2022

The Climate Ledger Initiative (CLI) addresses one of the world’s most pressing problems, climate change, with one of the potentially most promising technological innovations – blockchain. Through its platform function CLI brings together a variety of stakeholders from private and public sector to test pilot applications of the still new distributed ledger technology for effective climate action and development achievements. With its contribution to CLI SDC fosters innovation, development gains through applied technology development in developing countries and contributes to the global norm setting in this rapidly evolving field. 

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