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UNEP urges innovative partnerships to boost climate financing

NAIROBI, April 27 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) on Monday called for governments to forge strategic linkages with multilateral agencies and private corporations in order to boost climate financing.

UNEP Deputy Executive Director, Ibrahim Thiaw, said limited financing towards climate adaptation and mitigation programs threatens sustainability agenda globally.

"The impacts of climate change will be felt in the long-term even if countries put a cap on carbon emissions. There is an urgency to deliver funding, technologies and knowledge required to enable countries adapt to this phenomenon," Thiaw said.

He spoke in Nairobi during the 9th international conference on community-based adaptation attended by delegates from governments, multilateral agencies, civil society and academia.

A slump in climate financing occasioned by global economic downturn and competing challenges like, terrorism and infectious diseases, pose a threat to the green agenda.

Thiaw noted that developing countries are grappling with a huge climate financing gap hence their inability to implement mitigation and adaptation projects.

"We need to explore ecosystem-based adaptation projects that are cheaper and have multiple benefits. Countries should incentivize private sector to boost climate financing," he said.

According to a UNEP report, the cost of climate change adaptation globally could reach 150 billion U.S. dollars per annum by 2030.

The report indicated that in Africa, the cost of adaptation will hit 50 billion dollars annually in the next 15 years, and countries must brace for economic, social and ecological disasters if they do not reach the target.

Thiaw urged countries to leverage public and private sector funds in order to scale up investments in adaptation and mitigation projects.

"There is need for governments to take a long-term view when it comes to climate financing. Investments in projects like renewable energy, climate smart agriculture and water storage do not have immediate benefits," said the UN official, noting that pension funds can be harnessed to boost climate financing.

The urgency to scale up climate financing has been supported by rigorous scientific assessment from the UNEP affiliated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele, the Deputy Chair of IPCC said there is a business case for climate mitigation and adaptation.

"Investments in disaster reduction and community resilience will have a bearing on the green economy and the post 2015 development agenda," said the deputy chair.

He noted that a raft of policy and legislative incentives are needed to encourage the private sector to put money in the Green Climate Fund.

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