GCF may allot $10m to Iran for lake conservation project

September 8, 2018

TEHRAN – The Green Climate Fund (GCF) as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) financial mechanism may earmark $10 million for preserving Bakhtegan Lake in Fars province, southern Iran, ISNA news agency reported on Saturday.

GCF is a new global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change. GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change. It seeks to promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs of nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Set up by the 194 countries parties to the UNFCCC in 2010, it was a part of the Convention’s financial mechanism, aiming at delivering equal amounts of funding, grants, loans, equity or guarantees to mitigation and adaptation, while being guided by the Convention’s principles and provisions.

When the Paris Agreement was reached in 2015, the Green Climate Fund was given an important role in serving the agreement and supporting the goal of keeping climate change well below 2 degrees Celsius by granting funds which come mainly from developed countries, but also from some developing countries, regions, and Paris.

“One of the major uncertainties in joining the Paris climate change agreement is the lack of financial and technological resources to reduce fossil fuel consumption in developing countries,” Vice-President of Conference of the Parties (COP), Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA), Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) UNFCCC Bureau of Asia-Pacific group has said.

This is also the main problem for Iran to join the agreement and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change,” Majid Shafiepour explained.

“The GCF will allot a total fund of up to $10 million and low-interest loans to implement climate change projects in low-income countries,” he added.

So far, Iran had not proposed any projects in this regard to use the funds up until last year, that a project to protect the natural ecosystems of Bakhtegan lake, Zagros forests and related water resources was initiated by the Department of Environment (DOE) and with the participation of the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Agriculture, he highlighted.

Shafiepour went on to say that the project is almost drawn up and approved nationally, and international advisers also have confirmed it, so that the country can receive some $10 million to implement the project.

Shafiepour who also serve as president of the National Institute on Climate Change and Environment at University of Tehran noted that it is anticipated that the GCF will receive about $100 billion annually from developed and developing countries such as China, Brazil, South Korea and the Gulf states that are able provide financial assistance.

He also added that each of the international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the European Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank have allocated over tens of billion dollars to fund the climate change projects. 

“The UNFCCC has demanded the 40 developed countries to allocate a fund of $100 billion per year,” he said, adding that the fund will be given to the countries on bilateral negotiations, for instance, Iran can negotiate a developed country and request the amount it has spent on climate change. 

He went on to highlight that developing countries first must prepare project proposals and ask the UNFCCC to approve it.

“So far, countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, and even small African countries have been granted funds to implement projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change,” he concluded.

Climate change

Long-term changes in the earth’s climate system have been significant and are occurring more rapidly than in the past. Continued emissions into the earth’s atmosphere are projected to cause further warming and increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible effects on every continent. In addition, climate change has a disproportionately stronger impact on the lives and livelihoods of those societies which depend on the natural environment for their day-to-day needs.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are continuing to rise, making the globally agreed target of keeping atmospheric temperature increase below 2°C more and more difficult to achieve. According to the IPCC, the current trajectory of GHG emissions rates will cause global temperatures to increase by 4°C by the end of this century.

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