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FILM: Learning into action – leveraging climate finance in Southern Africa

In a new film released by SouthSouthNorth this week, climate finance practitioners in southern Africa share their experiences of accessing resources from the Green Climate Fund.

The film ‘Learning into action: leveraging climate finance in Southern Africa’ delves into the shared challenges and opportunities faced by Southern African countries looking to access resources from the world’s largest climate financing institution, the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Through its investments, the GCF aims to achieve a paradigm shift in developing countries, towards low-emissions development and climate resilience. The film explores what this means in practice for southern African countries.

“The paradigm shift refers to innovative ideas” and addressing a range of climate issues collectively – according to Shakira Parker, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa.

For the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, it means a shift towards incorporating climate change in all the projects the Bank is now implementing, says Chrispen Maseva.

One of the challenges for developing countries is that the process of applying for climate finance from international public institutions such as the GCF is “much more complex” now, says Zaheer Fakir, a former GCF board member.

“One of the challenges in accessing climate finance has been the level of documentation, policies, procedures, agreements, charters, procedures and rules that we have to submit to the Green Climate Fund in order to be to be accredited”, adds Munalula Mulonda from Zambia’s National Commercial Bank.

Another challenge is countries’ lack of staff capacity around environmental and social issues, including gender. The GCF requires a high standard of social impact assessment for its project proposals.

However, regional co-operation can be an important catalyst for progress in accessing climate finance in the Southern African region. As Zaheer Fakir notes: “you have different countries with different capacities, and it’s about time that we start functioning as one unified Africa and supporting each other to achieve that.”

 

About the Southern Africa Climate Finance Partnership

The Southern Africa Climate Finance Partnership (SACFP) is a project of SouthSouthNorth that seeks to foster a regional partnership between six countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe). The project aims to support country-owned and managed climate finance portfolios that can access finance from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other climate finance avenues, mobilising private investment where possible.

At the end of 2018, SACFP brought together climate finance practitioners from its six focus countries to share their experiences as part of a two-day learning exchange. This video was produced to capture some of the insights from this unique forum and share them with a wider audience.

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