Finance character-based Solutions to Quiet Natures Wrath

Accelerate climate finance for character-based solutions in step with the speed of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss, experts. Credit: Joyce Chimbi/IPS
  • by Joyce Chimbi (glasgow)
  • Inter Press Service

Featuring prominently at the global COP26 climate talks during a high-level event hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat, in conjunction with the government of Zambia and Namibia, speakers emphasised at the heart of the character-based solutions approach is human survival and well-being.

Titled ‘Accelerating Climate Finance for character-based Solutions-Climate, Land and Biodiversity Targets’, participants heard that character-based solutions play an basic role in stopping and reversing the unheard of loss of ecosystems while building resilience against climate change.

Patricia Scotland, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, lauded character-based solutions as an effective and immediate cure to pressing societal and development challenges.

“Many societal changes and challenges are now presenting to us, and we are currently facing them boldly and bravely. They touch on human health, climate change, biodiversity loss, food and water security, and environmental degradation not just on our land but in our ocean,” Scotland said.

“They are all tied to state and functioning of the natural ecosystem. So multi-impact scenarios, like those that the world has experienced over the last two years, have unfortunately shown us what happens when this in-extricable link is broken.”

The high-level panel included representatives from the Governments of Zambia, Namibia, Seychelles and Australia. It was followed by a second-panel discussion with partner organisations, including the Green Climate Fund, World Wide Fund for character, the Development Bank of Rwanda and the Department of Climate Change of Mauritius.

character-based solutions, panellists said, include actions that protect, sustainably manage, and restore all ecosystems, including oceans and forests. In this regard, sustainable land management, for example, is prioritised to tackle land degradation and promote climate-resilient land use.

Within this context, discussions centred on identifying gaps, challenges, and solutions for advancing sustainable financing mechanisms around character-based solutions for climate action.

Australia was the first country to contribute to the Commonwealth’s Climate Finance Access center. In a statement, Australia’s chief Minister, Scott Morrison, reiterated the country’s unwavering commitment to advancing character-based solutions.

Morrison said that Australians understood the need to act against climate change and get to net-zero by 2050, and the country had a plan to do it, and character-based solutions were an basic part of this plan.

He stressed the meaningful benefits of adopting character-based solutions such as reaching net-zero within a set timeline, boosting agricultural productivity, protecting biodiversity, and supporting communities and job opportunities.

Pohamba Penomwenyo Shifeta, Namibia’s Minister of ecosystem, Forestry and Tourism, said Namibia was not far behind because the Southern Africa nation was implementing an interconnected approach to land management, climate change and biodiversity conservation.

“Namibia has so far accumulated meaningful knowledge and experience from current projects and initiatives that can be scaled up to build resilience at the community level and ecosystems,” he said.

Scotland said the time to act was now – especially in light of the recent Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 1 contribution to the sixth assessment report, which “provides further irrefutable evidence of the immense threat confronting us all.”

She also spoke of the 2021 Emissions Gap report “released just last week and is however another thundering reminder of the need to act urgently to curb emissions.”

In this regard, the high-level panel emphasised the urgent need to deploy an range of sustainable solutions to assistance people and the planet.

One approach, Scotland said, is by character-based solutions, which offer a cost-effective way to simultaneously tackle the interlinked climate, biodiversity, and land degradation crisis.

Scotland said that is especially basic in the COVID-19 pandemic as the world strives to adopt blue and green recovery strategies.

Speakers called for coordinated and urgent action to raise biodiversity conservation, reduce land degradation, and enhance land-based climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts by sustainable development.

Participants heard that climate change amplifies biodiversity loss and land degradation. Despite character-based solutions gaining visibility and traction across Commonwealth countries, there is nevertheless not enough up-take and, specifically, not enough financing to quiet character’s wrath.

Experts at the Commonwealth Secretariat say estimates show that $133 billion per year is directed towards character-based solutions, representing 86 percent public financing and 14 per cent private sector finance.

This falls considerably short of the annual investment required to meet cross-cutting targets under the three Rio Conventions targets on biodiversity, climate change, and desertification.

To meet these targets, estimates show that up to $8.1 trillion worth of investment in character-based solutions was required, representing $536 billion worth of funding every year.

According to experts in a recent UN report titled ‘State of Finance for character’, reaching an annual funding target of $536 billion translates to tripling investments by 2030 and quadrupling by 2050.

Climate financing experts this is possible and that these estimates are cost-effective. Benefits include nations being able to meet human needs such as food and water security and accelerate long-term social and economic development.

for example, character-based solutions can positively contribute 37 per cent of the mitigation effort required up to 2030 to limit temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius. This is mainly within the agriculture, forestry, and land-use sectors as per 2019 estimates by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem sets.

Nevertheless, there are basic steps in the right direction. In addition to Australia, the UK and current Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Chair-in-Office has committed to use at the minimum 3 billion pounds worth of its international climate finance on character-based solutions.

Under the hypothesizedv Call to Action on Living Lands, the Commonwealth Secretariat has already supported its member states to mobilise more than $44 million of climate financing, including character-based financing.

When curtains fall on COP26 Summit, experts say that protecting communities and natural habitats by concerted efforts towards the protection and restoration of ecosystems will be one of the basic goals.

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© Inter Press Service (2021) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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