United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty negotiated at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.  Vanuatu signed the convention on 9 June 1992 and deposited its instrument of ratification on 25 March 1993. The treaty entered into force on 21 March 1994 once 50 Parties had ratified it.

Vanuatu is classified as a non-Annex I party to the convention, which highlights its context as especially vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and thus have special needs and concerns.

Vanuatu ratified the Kyoto Protocol in July 2001 and the Paris Agreement in September 2016. 

The National Advisory Board on Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction is mandated by the Meteorology, Geological Hazards and Climate Change Act No. 25 of 2016 to oversee and coordinate all of Vanuatu’s engagement with and obligations under the UNFCCC.  For this purpose, the NAB Secretariat works together with a specially appointed UNFCCC Taskforce.

 Vanuatu NAB UNFCCC Taskforce Members include;

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade: The UN Desk (CHAIR)
  • NAB Secretariat (Secretariat)
  • Civil society representative (VCAN)
  • Department of Women’s Affairs
  • Ministry of Finance: Treasury Division; Expenditure Analyst
  • Department of Climate Change

 

As regards its UNFCCC reporting obligations, Vanuatu submissions to date includes;

Document

Submission Date (to the UNFCCC)

National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA)

https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/napa/vut01.pdf

December 2007

Initial National Communications (NC)

https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/vannc1.pdf

October 1999

Second National Communication (SNC)

https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/Vanuatu%20NC2_15%20October%202016.pdf

2016

Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)

https://unfccc.int/files/adaptation/application/pdf/all__parties_indc.pdf

September 2015

Enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution

https://www4.unfccc.int/sites/ndcstaging/Pages/Party.aspx?party=VUT&prototype=1

 

March 2021

Third National Communications  

https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/Vanuatu%20Third%20National%20Communication%20Report.pdf

March 2021

First Biennial Update Report (BUR)

In progress

National Adaptation Plan (NAP)

In progress

* Vanuatu has a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) focused on rural electrification.

 

National Focal Points

The list of Vanuatu’s national focal points to the UNFCCC can be found via this link https://unfccc.int/process/parties-non-party-stakeholders/parties/national-focal-point

In addition, Mrs Esline Garaebiti currently the Director General of the Ministry of Climate Change is the focal point or the National Designated Entity for the UNFCCC’s Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN).

She is also the National Designated Authority (NDA) for the Green Climate Fund.

 

Climate Finance

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established a Standing Committee on Finance to assist the COP in meeting objectives of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention. Although not a fund in itself, the Standing Committee on Finance has been tasked with, among other things, preparing a biennial assessment of climate finance flows. The operation of the Financial Mechanism is entrusted to one or more existing international entities. The operation of the Financial Mechanism is partly entrusted to the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Parties decided to designate the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, in accordance with Article 11 of the Convention. The Financial Mechanism is accountable to the COP, which decides on its climate change policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria for funding.  

In addition to providing guidance to the GEF, Parties have established four special funds: the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), both managed by the GEF, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) under the Convention and the Adaptation Fund (AF) under the Kyoto Protocol.

Article 9 of the Paris Agreement stipulates that developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation. Other Parties are encouraged to provide or continue to provide such support voluntarily. The Paris Agreement makes reference to a global goal of at least USD 100 billion per year to be mobilized from public and private sources [1] by 2020, and a new bigger goal is to be agreed by 2025. The USD 100 billion commitment is still a key element of the international climate negotiations.[2]

But this is not enough, the $100 billion goal is only a starting point, not an end point.  Securing a sustainable, climate-resilient future will require significant investment on the order of USD 5.7 trillion annually in green infrastructure like clean water, sustainable transport, and renewable energy in order to prevent climate change’s worst effects.

The Paris Agreement marks a step forward in reporting and improving transparency of finance, which is essential to ensure accountability and avoid “double-counting.” Developed countries committed in Paris to continue reporting every two years on finance they have provided and mobilized, but also to start reporting on public funding they intend to provide in following years.

To meet these ambitious climate finance goals, a complex international climate finance framework has evolved, with more than 60 different international funds available for developing countries [3].  Climate finance is now flowing through multilateral channels – both within and outside of UNFCCC financing mechanisms – and increasingly through bilateral channels, as well as in some Pacific Island countries through national climate change trust funds (e.g. Tonga).

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[1] Public finance offered by developed countries at COP21 will likely result in at least $18.8 billion per year by 2020. New COP21 pledges to climate funds, including the Adaptation Fund, Least Developed Countries Fund, and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), added up to more than $1.5bn.  All multilateral development banks have also pledged to scale up climate finance in developing countries substantially by 2020, to more than $30 billion per year.

[2] https://www.oecd.org/environment/cc/Projecting%20Climate%20Change%202020%20WEB.pdf

[3] https://climatefundsupdate.org/

 

 

Resourceful links

UNFCCC Website https://unfccc.int/