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C40 COP26 Daily Briefing
Week 2
Looking back at Monday, 8 November, 2021
Welcome to C40 COP26 Daily Briefings, a new C40 service to inform you of what's happening at the 26th UN Conference on Climate Change taking place in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 to November 12, 2021. This daily COP26 briefing recaps the activities and announcements of the day and lets you know what's coming up the following day to ensure you are kept fully up to date on all COP26 discussions. You are receiving this email because you are a C40 member, or a C40 partner, or have joined the Cities Race to Zero campaign. If you do not wish to receive our emails, please unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this briefing. We hope these briefings will help you understand what's at stake at COP26. Happy reading!
What happened in the formal COP26 intergovernmental process?
  • Week 2 of COP26 started with Adaptation and Loss and Damage Day, which saw countries making adaptation finance pledges, such as to the Adaptation Fund (which supports developing countries build resilience and adapt to climate change). Although these financial commitments show willingness on the part of countries to recognise the importance of setting funding aside for adaptation and loss and damage, more details on the function and mechanisms for setting aside finance for adaptation and loss and damage are needed to make meaningful headway.
  • The UK announced a total of £290 million in new funding to support global efforts to tackle the impacts of climate change, including:
    • £274 million to a seven-year Climate Action for a Resilient Asia (CARA) programme which will help countries across Asia and the Pacific better plan and invest in climate action, improve conservation, and deliver low-carbon development.
    • £15 million for the Adaptation Fund.
    • These pledges are in addition to the almost £50 million in new UK support announced in the first week of COP26, to help small island states develop resilient infrastructure which can withstand climate shocks and support capacity-building for access to funding and technical solutions.
  • The Adaptation Fund hosted a contributor dialogue during which several financial contributions were announced - reported by the Adaptation Fund as adding up to US $232.6 million for 2021. Although this represents the highest annual fundraising level, more than double the previous highest year, this figure does not even come close to reaching the US $70 billion per year estimated by the World Bank that is needed for adaptation finance. 
    • According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) latest Adaptation Gap Report, the total costs of adaptation are expected to reach US $140-300 billion per year by 2030 and US $280-500 billion per year by 2050 for developing countries only. Climate finance flowing to developing countries for both mitigation and adaptation finance reached only US$ 79.6 billion in 2019 according to a recent OECD report. Overall, estimated adaptation costs in developing countries are five to ten times greater than current public adaptation finance flows, and the gap is widening
  • Below is a summary of adaptation finance commitments made at COP26 so far (including pledges made during the first week and those announced during the contributor dialogue) -  First-time pledges are written in italics with an asterisk:
    • Canada: CAD $10 million*, with Quebec pledging an additional CAD $8 million.*
    • UK: £15 million (US $20 million).
    • US: US $50 million.* 
    • Japan made a US $10 billion climate finance pledge (in addition from a previous US $60 billion pledge for 2021-2025), and committed to double its adaptation finance, including assistance for disaster risk reduction to US $14.8 billion.
    • Germany: €50 million (US $58 million). 
    • France: €2 billion pledged between 2021-2025 (⅓ of climate finance), with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) supporting development of adaptation planning and investment.
    • Finland: €7 million (US $8 million), with an aim to scale up finance for adaptation.
    • Flanders (Belgium): €3 million (US $3.5 million)
    • Ireland: €10 million (US $11.5 million), committing to a 50/50 adaptation/mitigation financing split.
    • Norway: US $35 million, with a commitment to at least triple finance for climate adaptation by 2026.
    • Qatar: US $500,000.*
    • Spain: €30 million (US $35 million), with no details on timeline provided.
    • Sweden: multi-year pledge of US $53 million over 2019-2022, committing to continue to provide around 50% of its bilateral climate finance to adaptation in line with partner countries’ requests.
    • Switzerland: CHF10 million (US $11 million), with no details on timeline provided.
    • Total: US $232.6 million.
  • A Ministerial Dialogue on Adaptation Action was held which highlighted action on adaptation as a way to address different issues hand-in-hand, including development challenges, food insecurity and water access, and social marginalisation and discrimination. The question of climate justice was at the heart of the interventions of speakers from both developed and developing countries, who all stressed that the least-emitting countries face the worst impacts already, and have the fewest means to address these impacts. In a particularly harrowing speech from the Maldives (2:07:05 - 2:08:49), ministers were reminded of the urgency of this agenda with a clear deadline, stating that “We have 98 months to halve emissions for the Maldives to have a realistic chance at survival.” 
  • Developing countries highlighted five key issues:
    • Quantity; related to delivering the promised US $100 billion and more ambitious finance targets post-2025.
    • Quality; related to the need for grants - not loans - for adaptation, as well as financial system reform to ensure access.
    • Access; in order to ensure developing countries can easily acquire adequate, timely, and high-quality financial resources.
    • Proportion; adaptation finance must equal mitigation finance (ensuring a 50/50 split) and attract private sector investment in addition to public climate finance.
    • Technical capacity; required to transition to a global economy aligned with 1.5°C by designing and developing bankable projects.
  • Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J Mohammed, called on developed countries in particular to ramp up finance for adaptation to ensure 50% of climate finance is earmarked for adaptation, and specifically noted that multilateral development banks (MDBs) should be leading the way.
  • The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) highlighted the African Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP), launched with the Global Center for Adaptation, which aims to raise $US 25 billion for adaptation in Africa. The AfDB has committed US $12.5 billion and the President called on developed countries to contribute for the other half.
  • This discussion is not yet going to the level of cities, which is a timely reminder that C40’s COP26 strategy highlighted Global South cities as specific targets to access climate finance and finance for adaptation, in particular. There remains a lot of work to do if we are to put cities on the radar of the adaptation finance discussion.
What did cities do in Glasgow?
  • Following the Under2 Coalition's General Assembly yesterday, regions are hosting several events at COP26 through the LGMA segment and the Pavilion. For instance, Regions4 hosted a high-level event and panel yesterday that focused on the leading role of regions in raising ambitions for adaptation and resilience.
  • The UN-backed Race to Resilience campaign launched a metrics framework which is the first-ever universal tool for cities, regions, businesses and investors to measure and verify if - and how - their work is actually building resilience for people and nature. The Race to Resilience, launched earlier this year, mobilises local governments and the private sector behind commitments to build resilience for the 4 billion people most at risk from climate change by 2030. Using that metrics framework, Race to Resilience partners are so far delivering actions which will increase the resilience of over 2.3 billion people by 2030 and over 100 natural systems including mangroves, forests and coastal zones. 33 cities are part of Race to Resilience. 
Other announcements/updates?
  • The former President of the United States, Barack Obama, delivered a powerful speech in which he highlighted the significant gaps that remain since the signing of the Paris Agreement, and calling on youth and those young at heart to “stay angry - stay frustrated - but to channel that anger and harness that frustration to keep pushing harder and harder for more because that is what is required.”
What's coming up today?
  • As part of the Bloomberg Green Summit, a panel will be held this morning on Climate Migration: Cities at the Forefront that will invite members from the C40-Mayors Migration Council Task Force and their partners to share how they are taking bold steps to place people at the center of climate action and investing in city governments to deliver. The event will include remarks from Marvin Reese, the Mayor of Bristol and C40-Mayors Migration Council Task Force Member; Emmanuelle Pinault, C40 Director of City Diplomacy; and Raphaela Schweiger, the Program Director at Robert Bosch Stiftung. The recording of the session can be accessed by this afternoon (GMT time) here.
  • The Alliances for Climate Action (ACA) is hosting an in-person and live streamed public event, Together in the Decade of Delivery: How Collaboration Can Take Us from Commitment to Implementation from 12:30pm - 1:30 pm GMT, which will include speakers from the Alliances for Climate Action of Argentina, Japan, Mexico, Vietnam, and the US. You can watch the livestream here
  • The UNFCCC Action Hub in the Blue Zone will feature Cities, Industry, Finance: Highlight of Clean Construction Actions that will showcase actions to collaborate further, faster along the construction value chain and transform the sector at pace and scale. C40 Executive Director Mark Watts, Paris Deputy Mayor Dan Lert, and representatives from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development Cooperation (BMZ) and Lendlease will moderate the event. The session can be followed via the livestream here.
  • All throughout today, C40 will be showcasing actions from cities and businesses on increasing access for women to jobs in the built environment across its social media channels. We invite you to follow C40 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn via @c40cities to view the showcase and #TakeActionNow.
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