Image credit: Greg Kahn / Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient
On October 7, 2021, the Helsinki Principle 5 workstream hosted a workshop on ‘The Role of Ministries of Finance in Driving Resilient Investment and Investment in Resilience’. This was the second workshop on resilience and adaptation organized by the HP5 workstream.
Worsening climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of physical climate risks, with potentially strong repercussions for people, nature, and the economy. Thus, adaptation and resilience plans are needed to ensure continued sustainable development. If strategically designed, proactive actions can help to mitigate and manage climate risks, while also accelerating development and poverty reduction. Adaptation actions could bring multiple benefits by avoiding losses, increasing productivity, driving innovation, and ensuring additional social and environmental benefits. While the imperative for adaptation action is clear, money is not flowing to adaptation at the pace or scale needed.
This workshop provided an opportunity to discuss how Ministries of Finance (MoFs) can contribute to driving resilient investment and investment in resilience by creating the conditions for private sector finance mobilization. Jennifer De Nijs opened the workshop by sharing Luxembourg’s most recent experience of severe flood impacts and highlighted the necessity to step up adaptation action, including an increase of climate mitigation efforts. Next, Stéphane Hallegatte (Lead Economist, Climate Change Group, World Bank) presented ways that MoFs can drive the integration of adaptation and resilience considerations into all public and private investment through policymaking and regulation—drawing on some of the findings of his recently co-authored book, The Adaptation Principles – A Guide for Designing Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience.
The next presentation was jointly given by Carlos Sanchez (Executive Director, Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment), Carter Brandon (Senior Fellow, World Resources Institute) and Courtnae Bailey (Research Graduate, Imperial College London), who presented how the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI) enables public and private actors to work together to drive investment in adaptation and resilience. They further presented CCRI’s investment prioritization tool—applied in a recent pilot in Jamaica—that could inform national strategies on adaptation. Mahbub Alam (Deputy Secretary, Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh) presented the adaptation strategy of Bangladesh and its climate fiscal framework. Finally, Elena Višnar Malinovská (Head of Adaptation to Climate Change Unit within the Directorate General Climate Action of the European Commission) presented the European Union’s adaptation strategy as a whole-of-government approach to mobilize private finance that focuses on how to create an enabling environment to develop risk sharing instruments and to reduce negative externalities.
The presentations were followed by a short question and answer session, moderated by Nepomuk Dunz (Junior Professional Officer, World Bank). Masyita Crystallin (Coalition Co-Chair Sherpa, Indonesia) closed the workshop by acknowledging the importance of this topic for the Coalition and the potential for countries to share experiences and best practices. She emphasized 1) the relevance of the adaptation and resilience topic for Members of the Coalition; 2) the role of MoFs in creating an enabling environment for mobilizing private sector adaptation and resilient investment; and 3) the importance of knowledge sharing on platforms, tools, and best practices in supporting the build-up of expertise in Member countries, including through workshops like this one and enhanced training efforts. The HP5 workstream has agreed to deepen its work on adaptation and resilience and private finance mobilization in the 2022 work program.