CDKN - bridging climate change and development policy

Setting the scene

The effects of climate change are felt around the world today, and nowhere more so than in the lowest-income countries. The Paris climate agreement recognises this reality and commits nations to an ambitious target of limiting global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. Tackling climate change by embracing low-carbon and climate resilient development is now firmly on the agenda for both governments and businesses.

However, designing and delivering such ‘climate compatible development’ breaks new ground. Over the past seven years the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) has been supporting developing countries to do exactly this.

“Take the example of heat waves, killing people and destroying harvests. In some cases, such extreme temperatures, which used to happen every 50 years, now occur every 10 to 15 years because of climate change.”

Maarten van Aalst, Director, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

What we did

The £130 million CDKN Fund is managed by an alliance of NGOs and think-tanks and is led by PwC UK. It operates across Asia, Africa and Latin America, and works to enhance the quality of life for people in developing countries affected by climate change. It bridges climate change and development policy, enabling developing countries to implement development plans that integrate climate challenges and achieve a low-carbon and climate-resilient future.

The Fund has partnered with national and local governments in 33 countries, contributing to the development of climate compatible development policies and practices. Responding to local demand we’ve focused on four themes: policies, finance, disaster risk management and negotiation support.

In response to the need to improve the limited influence of the poorest and most climate vulnerable countries, CDKN has also built the momentum for change at the international level by supporting developing countries in international climate negotiations. Through CDKN, these countries have had a significant impact on international climate negotiations; this was particularly notable during the Paris Conference of Parties (COP) as well as on-going UN led meetings including Bonn in May 2017.

PwC’s role has been to manage the programme, provide the central finance and procurement functions, lead the technical assistance and negotiation support portfolios, oversee knowledge management delivery, and provide subject matter expertise.

“CDKN was instrumental in including the disaster risk insurance related discussion in the broader disaster risk management work in Pakistan.”

Shaukat Shafi, Head of Urban Unit, Asian Development Bank

Making a difference

Ongoing projects over this past year include mentoring 300 women farmers in Nepal in climate-smart agriculture, thereby fostering a new group of female entrepreneurs; strengthening the influence of the poorest and most climate-vulnerable countries in international climate talks; and scaling up the highly effective Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan across cities in India, El Salvador and Pakistan. In addition, governments are being given help to access climate finance and are working with universities to develop a curriculum on climate compatible development, thereby nurturing the next generation of leaders. Support has been given to the Government of Pakistan in designing a National Disaster Insurance Framework to provide low-income households with accessible, affordable insurance; and the first city-wide climate change and competitiveness plan for the city of Cartagena in Colombia has been developed.

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