Climate change is no longer a distant threat. Extreme weather and climate events, such as storms, heat waves, droughts, floods and wildfires, have become more frequent and intense. Supporting people to cope with the consequences of climate change and build resilience is a topic that unites the climate, development and humanitarian community. Over the past decades a number of disaster risk financing (DRF) instruments have been generated across the different communities – forecast-based financing or insurance instruments serve as cases-in-point. Despite these achievements, the various instruments are not yet linked or integrated, siloed approaches prevail. This leads to untapped potential and a loss of synergies. With the climate changing at an alarming rate, there is a need to accelerate action, work across silos, identify challenges and most importantly ways to overcome them to ensure progress.
2022 offers an opportunity to rethink the way we prepare for and address the impacts of climate change. In January Germany presented its G7 programme and declared climate change to be one of the main priorities of its presidency. Amongst others, it seeks to strengthen anticipatory action approaches and the global climate and disaster risk financing architecture to minimize, reduce and avert loss and damage caused by climate change. In February the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its recent report. The IPCC AR6 WG II report highlights not only that the climate change impacts are dangerous and widespread but also offers cross-cutting solutions. In November, at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Egypt, climate change adaptation as well as ‘loss and damage’ will be key topics of the negotiations.
End of March, the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) and Anticipation Hub teamed up to convene German stakeholders from the humanitarian, climate and development community in a workshop to explore opportunities for closer collaboration across silos to strengthen the disaster risk financing architecture. Central questions included: How can the division of labor look like? Which instruments, collaborations and partnerships are needed? What are the obstacles that need to be overcome? What impulses need to be set at national and international level?
Prof. Marten van Aalst (Director, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre & Lead author of the IPCC WGII Report), Sara Ahmed (V20 Secretariat) and Dr. Mohammed Asha (Kenya Red Cross Society) set the stage by highlighting the consequences of the climate crisis and global and local level. Prof. Van Aalst unpacked the key findings and implications of the IPCC AR6 WG II report, He highlighted that even effective adaptation cannot prevent all climate-related losses and damages and pointed out that early action, every decision matters. Ms. Ahmed pointed at the mismatch between needs and available resources in V20 countries and Dr. Asha highlighted the limits of adaptation in what the Kenya Red Cross Society is doing in response. The key message was clear: We need to accelerate action and join forces to avoid mounting losses.
In subsequent breakout sessions participants discussed challenges and solutions to break down silos between the humanitarian, development and climate community and explored challenges and opportunities for closer collaboration to strengthen the disaster risk financing architecture.
A key message was that there is great potential but there is still little incentive to actually collaborate. Donors have a key role to play here. A key recommendation was that donors should set stronger incentives, e.g. by aligning and easing access of the global funding facilities such as the Global Risk Insurance Facility, Green Climate Fund and by demanding synergies at the program and project level. To support synergy building, donors could promote risk assessments and feasibility studies to inform in-country programs and projects and encourage cross-sectoral, multi-stakeholder partnerships, where appropriate.
Another key message was that linking anticipatory action and DRF will require greater coordination and collaboration between existing political and technical champions, especially at the country level. Despite a multitude of actors and technical fora and first attempts to build cross-sectoral bridges, there is still a scarce understanding of who is doing what and where, not to speak of a lack of joint in-country workstreams despite similar objectives and challenges. Stakeholder analyses, joint risk analyses and joint advocacy could be the starting points for joint AA-DRF programming at the country level. Participants highlighted that such programming efforts must be driven by the country themselves and put people at the center: local actors and communities – including women and minority groups – should inform design of such programs from the very beginning to assure that the instruments are appropriate to make a difference at scale.
In the concluding panel, Matthias Amling (German Federal Foreign Office), Josefine Graber (German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development), Andrea Steinke (CHA) and Laura Schäfer (Germanwatch) were invited to share their reflections on the workshop against the background of policy year 2022. Mr. Amling and Ms. Greber appreciated the input and highlighted the work of the FFO and the BMZ to address climate related risks. Mr. Amling shared the presidency’s plan to strengthen anticipatory action and Ms. Greber the ambition to develop a ‘Global shield against climate risks’. Ms. Steinke highlighted the continued need to strengthen local structures. Ms. Schäfer, in turn, referred to the need to reform the global climate financing architecture so that it can serve local structures. She pointed out that climate risk financing and anticipatory action contribute to the ‘avert’ and ‘minimize’ principles of L&D in the Paris Agreement and emphasized the need for a comprehensive climate risk management, underpinned by funding by a proper Loss & Damage Financing Facility. The lively debate ended also with a call to collaboratively map out the different DRF – AA initiatives – here our first attempt. Readers are invited to contribute.
Read the full report of the workshop HERE