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Success Story

Driving access to finance for developing nations’ climate resilience

By Lucy Weidner , Caroline Fouvet and Maribel Hernandez | July 10, 2023

Climate adaptation costs are up to 10 times greater than current adaptation finance flows to developing countries. WTW is in the forefront of helping to redress this imbalance.
Climate
Climate Risk and Resilience

Background

A just climate transition is one that is inclusive; one that is equitable. It is a transition that increases communities´ resilience to climate impacts and gives them the agency to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable way. But, according to the UNEP (UN Environment Program), estimated adaptation costs are five to ten times greater than international adaptation finance flows to developing countries, despite these reaching 29 billion in 2020. As a result, adaptation in at-risk communities is being outpaced by our changing climate.

Turning the climate tables

WTW is helping countries, governments, civil societies, companies and financial institutions do something to advance a just, equitable and inclusive climate transition.

Some of the main funders of climate resilience are multilateral funds such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Adaptation Fund (AF), and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), WTW is empowering developing countries to access these important sources of climate finance through a better understanding of their funding pathways, the identification of climate resilient investments and the development of concept notes and funding proposals.

In the past year alone, WTW has developed and delivered more than 10 training sessions and workshops on climate finance access. WTW is also turning one of three GCF concept notes into a full funding proposal on behalf of a major development agency, providing services in the field of international development and community education.

Increasing private sector funding

Another means of bringing climate resilience investment to communities that need it is to involve the private sector through mutually beneficial opportunities. The World Economic Forum estimates that the adaptation market could be worth $2 trillion by 2026. Investments in adaptation can unlock substantial opportunities for financial institutions while helping companies minimize their operational risks, protect their supply chains, and offer clients relevant products and services. Using up-to-date climate projections and our proprietary tools and methodologies, such as Aware® and HeatMapR®, we are helping private and public financial institutions identify the climate-exposed hotspots in their portfolios or investment processes, before guiding them toward the most relevant, effective and profitable investments. Over the past few years, we have been working with regional and national development banks to identify their most at-risk sectors and find opportunities to mitigate that risk by supporting their clients´ investments in resilience.

Ripple effect

What we are seeing is that these projects and public/private sector collaborations have a ripple effect. While work initially starts with an individual client, the impact is effective on a much more granular level. Experience shows they frequently bring local stakeholders together around similar expected results, meaning that adaptation efforts and finance are targeted to areas where climate resilience is most needed and, in the process, provide a platform for wider community engagement and longer-term capacity building.

Authors

Associate, Physical Risk and Resilience
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Associate Director, Physical Risk and Resilience
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Technical Director, Physical Risk and Resilience
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