The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is pioneering an innovative new approach to developing climate-resilient infrastructure, which is set to make a big splash at COP26 in Glasgow. This is a systemic approach, particularly applicable for islands and coastal areas which are vulnerable to hurricanes, storm surges and sea level rise.
A pilot project launched by GCF together with the Government of Jamaica is testing the capacity of nature-based solutions to complement hard infrastructure in any defined hot spot, along coast lines, energy infrastructure, transport infrastructure, water and sewerage infrastructure, health facilities and other critical services. All of these services are especially at risk when a hurricane or flooding strike. However, traditional approaches such as building sea walls and dikes are extremely expensive as well as carbon intensive, and they destroy the coastal ecosystems that they are meant to protect.
The project is testing design solutions in terms of their technical feasibility and cost, to inform the second innovation proposed to Jamaica and planned to be scaled-up to any other interested country – a step-by-step methodology of adaptation and cross-cutting projects pipeline origination. These solutions can then be shared with other developing nations who are also facing climate hazard risks.
A second pilot, undertaken by GCF is planned with the Government of Ghana, to test a similar approach to coastal protection and strengthening infrastructure at a larger scale, on the West coast of Africa as well as for integrated urban structures.
At COP26, the UK Government and GCF will be convening a meeting of partners of the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI), bringing together key players including governments, intergovernmental bodies, and private companies to promote the integration of physical climate risks in investment decision-making, using these methodologies.
In addition to these two pilots in Jamaica and Ghana, further work will be presented at COP26 looking at infrastructure asset valuation, and the pricing of physical climate risks, with case studies in other developing states. This innovative approach developed by GCF together with its partners helps to provide a systematic and financially sound way forward for vulnerable countries to protect against climate risks.