Stockholm (NordSIP) – Norway has teamed up with Unilever to commit USD400mn in public-private funding towards building resilience to climate change in vulnerable countries around the world, the parties announced yesterday.
The announcement was made at the COP23 gathering in Bonn and coincided with Global Climate Action Resilience Day (Tuesday, November 14), in which leaders in government, business and civil society called for the unlocking of investment in climate resilience measures intended to benefit societies and safeguard global supply chains. The devastating impacts of hurricanes in 2017 contributed to the urgency of the call that cutting greenhouse gas emissions to prevent worse climate change and adapting successfully to existing climate change are not separate objectives but a single goal.
“I am pleased to announce that Norway with Unilever and other partners is setting up a new USD400mn fund to invest in business models that combine investments in high productivity agriculture, smallholder inclusion and forest protection,” Norway Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen told a roundtable dedicated to unblocking investment into resilience. “This should be only one of many new public and private investments in more resilient socioeconomic development.”
The as-yet-unnamed fund is dedicated to meeting the objectives of the Paris Climate Accord, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction simultaneously. Climate resilience means three things. First, people and economies should be able to understand and anticipate climate risks and hazards (extreme events such as hurricanes and long-term changes such as hotter temperatures and sea level rise). Second societies should be able to absorb and cope with the impact of shocks and stresses when they occur. And, finally, in the long term, development should be transformed to address these risks.
“Investing in resilience has two climate benefits,” Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre Johan Rockström explained. “First it enables communities to navigate rising climate shocks and stresses. Second, it reduces climate risks by safeguarding carbon sinks and unleashing novel thinking on transformations to diversified fossil-fuel free societies.”
“Forests are key to resilient growth and climate justice,” Unilever CEO Paul Polman tweeted from COP23, in relation to the role of business in tackling climate change.
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