UK announces £274m boost to climate resilience across Indo-Pacific

New UK finance through the CARA programme to help over 14 million people adapt to climate change, promote low carbon growth and protect the environment.

The UK has announced major new support of up to £274 million at COP26 in Glasgow to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities, economies and the environment against the impacts of climate change, and promote low carbon growth across the Indo-Pacific.

Climate Action for a Resilient Asia (CARA) is a 7-year programme to deliver projects in areas known to strengthen climate resilience. This includes funding projects that mobilise climate finance, strengthen water security, conserve ecosystems and biodiversity, and help vulnerable communities lead local adaptation efforts.

Partnering with governments, regional institutions, cities, local communities and the private sector, this new regional programme will promote nature-based solutions, better climate change policy and planning, enhance weather and climate forecasting services, and support urban resilience.

The programme aims to support up to 14.4 million people to better adapt to climate change, generate approximately £1.4 billion of public and private finance for climate resilience, and protect to up £130 million worth of natural ecosystem and biodiversity.

UK Minister for Asia, Amanda Milling MP said:

Climate change does not respect borders. Countries across the Indo-Pacific region are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, with vulnerable communities threatened by rising seas, frequent typhoons and drought.

This major new support from the UK, delivered through a range of regional partners, will help local communities, cities and governments to strengthen their resilience to climate change and promote low carbon growth.

Biodiversity will be protected, weather forecasting improved, cities designed to withstand floods and storms, and funds mobilised to the grassroots community groups that need them most.

The CARA programme will explicitly strengthen the resilience of South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific countries, through a series of partnership programmes led by the Met Office (the UK’s national meteorological service), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank (WB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and ICIMOD – the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.

ADB Vice-President Bambang Susantono, said:

Strengthening climate resilience is a key front in the battle against climate change.

As Asia and the Pacific’s climate bank, the Asian Development Bank is committed to working with our regional and international partners, such as the Government of the United Kingdom, to ensure financing and support goes where it’s needed the most: to urban areas and local communities so we can preserve natural ecosystems and prioritise development that support the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, particularly the poor and vulnerable.

Izabella Koziell, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD said:

The Hindu Kush Himalayan Region (HKH) is on the frontline of the climate and biodiversity crisis and is one of the most disaster and conflict prone regions of the world. CARA’s support to ICIMOD comes at an important moment, which will help build more resilient landscapes and livelihoods in the region, and will support the taking forward of the Mountain of Opportunity Investment Framework – agreed with our eight Regional Member Countries and introduced at COP26.

Helen Bye, Met Office Principal Advisor to FCDO, said:

We are excited at the opportunity to continue the work of the ARRCC programme in Asia, co-producing weather and climate services with our partners in the region to build resilience to a changing climate.

Mr. Christophe Bahuet, Deputy Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, UNDP said:

UNDP is very pleased to join FCDO’s new Climate Action for a Resilient Asia (CARA) initiative which aims to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities, economies and the environment to the impacts of climate change across the Indo-Pacific. As part of CARA, UNDP’s Climate Finance Network will focus on assisting countries in their efforts to more effectively mobilise and utilise climate finance whilst promoting gender equality, human rights and poverty reduction towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Hartwig Schafer, Regional Vice President, South Asia Region, World Bank said:

Climate change is forcing South Asia to adapt to a changing annual monsoon, melting glaciers, and shrinking coastlines. This generous funding from the United Kingdom will help the region’s resilience to better manage climate risks and reduce the poverty and vulnerability of millions of people.

Background

The CARA programme aims to improve climate resilience across the three areas identified as top priorities in the Global Commission for Adaptation’s (GCA) landmark report A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience: improving understanding of risk, better policy and planning and mobilising finance.

CARA’s six partnership programmes are:

  • ADB – Community Resilience Partnership Program – Up to £45 million to help scale up investments in climate adaptation at the community level, that explicitly address the nexus between climate, poverty, and gender.
  • ADB – Urban Resilience Trust Fund – Up to £70 million to build capacity of cities and national and subnational urban agencies, communities, and private sector to integrate climate resilience into their policies and planning.
  • ICIMOD – HKH Resilience Enabling Action Programme – Up to £20 million to support conservation of natural ecosystems and biodiversity across the Hindu-Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region.
  • The Met Office – Asia Pacific Regional Resilience to a Changing Climate (ARRCC) – Up to £18 million to improve peoples’ resilience to weather extremes and climate change with enhanced weather and climate information.
  • UNDP – Climate Finance Network – Up to £20 million to provide technical assistance to governments on climate aligned domestic budgetary systems and leveraging innovative climate finance.
  • World Bank – Resilient Asia Program – Up to £50 million to strengthen climate resilience in Asia through building regional capacity and expertise to manage climate risk.

By bringing this range of partners and expertise together, and taking a regional, transboundary approach, CARA will help to improve learning and knowledge sharing, and deliver greater collective impact in building resilience across the region.

CARA will also include a Flexible Technical Assistance Fund to allow FCDO to deliver responsive and innovative programming across the region.

This is a new programme providing adaptation finance from the UK, through a mix of technical assistance and capital investments. It contributes to the UK’s commitment to provide £11.6 billion in International Climate Finance (ICF), including £3 billion towards protecting nature and biodiversity. CARA will also contribute to the UK commitment to Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) and the ‘Glasgow Imperative’.

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