Finland focuses on climate change adaptation and expertise at the UN Climate Change Conference
The Parties to the UN Climate Change Agreement will meet in Glasgow, Great Britain on 31 October–12 November. One of the conference's key themes is adaptation to climate change and its funding, especially in developing countries. The least developed countries and the poorest people suffer the most from the impacts of climate change even though they contribute to it the least.
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will address the side events of the Adaptation Fund and REAP (Risk-informed Early Action Partnership) in a video greeting. During the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), Finland will announce a EUR 30 million funding package for new projects to develop weather and early warning services in developing countries. Cooperation in meteorology is an important part of Finland’s adaptation finance. The ongoing projects will indirectly benefit nearly 300 million people by improving weather and early warning services.
Finland’s EUR 7 million contribution to the Adaptation Fund will be announced at the Fund’s side event. The Fund, which is an official financial mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change (UNFCCC), finances climate change adaptation in vulnerable communities in developing countries. So far, more than 31 million people have benefited from the Fund’s projects that focus on climate-sustainable agriculture, food security, water resources management and forests. New tools include innovation funding windows that support adaptation innovations, including commercial ones.
Minister Skinnari also took part in the launch of the new HIPCA fund of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. HIPCA (High Impact Partnership on Climate Action) is a multilateral multi-donor fund that aims to direct funds to projects that mitigate climate change and its impacts in the target countries and increase their climate resilience. Finland will invest approximately EUR 40 million in the fund, in addition to a EUR 2 million donation.
The Champions Group on Adaptation Finance, which was launched at the UN General Assembly in September, will organise a side event of its own. The group consists of Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Germany. At the event, they discuss next steps for cooperation and welcome new members. Finland’s representative at the discussion will be Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen. During the event, Finland will launch the Lahti Adaptation Finance Dialogue, where climate financiers, the least developed countries and small developing island nations can discuss adaptation funding, facilitated by Finland.
Rights of women and persons with disabilities on the agenda
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will take part as a panellist in a virtual side event of the COP26 named Sustainability, Equality, Peace: Integrating Climate Change & Women, Peace and Security Agendas. The panel will discuss the impact that climate change and conflicts have on the realisation of women’s rights.
Climate Ambassador Jan Wahlberg will attend the Conference in Glasgow. Wahlberg’s agenda includes several bilateral meetings and speeches on climate themes that are important to Finland. Change. Wahlberg will give a keynote speech at a side event promoting the rights of persons with disabilities in climate action. Wahlberg will meet Wanjira Mathai, Regional Director for Africa at the World Resources Institute and Kim Hyo-eun, South Korea’s Ambassador for Climate.
“We continue to emphasise how important it is to ensure that people with disabilities and organisations representing them participate in climate work and to take into consideration their rights in climate measures,” Wahlberg says.
Making Finland’s climate expertise visible on the Until We Act platform
The Until We Act platform, which presents Finnish climate expertise to the international audience, was also launched during the COP26. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Unit for Public Diplomacy, which serves as the secretariat of the Finland Promotion Board, is in charge of the platform.
The international climate communications aims is to raise Finland’s climate profile abroad and to tell about Finnish expertise and solution-oriented approach in climate work.
The President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö focused on these key messages in his speech at the World Leaders Summit in Glasgow. He emphasised that commitments alone are no longer enough in international climate cooperation: “Change may seem inconceivable but only until we act.”
The Until We Act platform is available at https://untilweact.fi/