Climate change and development
Climate change is one of the greatest barriers to the eradication of extreme poverty, social injustice and conflict.
Climate change causes more frequent and devastating extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and storms. This in turn leads to food insecurity and famine, increased prevalence of water- and vector-borne diseases and forced human displacement. These effects disproportionally impact poor and vulnerable people including subsistence farmers, slum dwellers and coastal communities in developing countries. In some situations such as in Small Island Developing States, climate change is a threat to the survival of entire societies. Climate change is now a top priority on the international development agenda, and shifting to low-carbon and climate resilient development strategies is a major donor concern.
UNOPS helps partners mitigate climate change and increase the adaptive capacity of vulnerable populations. This is achieved through the execution of approximately 30 projects designed to directly address climate change. Many of UNOPS’ other environment projects indirectly target climate change through biodiversity conservation, international waters management, green infrastructure, and the Small Grants Programme.
UNOPS and climate change mitigation
Renewable energy, energy efficiency, low carbon transportation, green construction, green procurement, and the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) lie at the core of UNOPS work on climate change mitigation.
- In support of partners such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) UNOPS implements climate change mitigation projects that emphasize developing the capacities of national governments and communities to translate relevant policies into action.
- UNOPS is at the forefront of ‘green’ infrastructure, as illustrated by its involvement in the construction of a carbon neutral UN Regional Hub in Panama City. Furthermore, UNOPS is pioneering green procurement, for example through the procurement of fuel efficient (hybrid) ambulances in Peru.
- UNOPS has also been providing human resource and management support services to the secretariat of the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD).
- Since the inception of the Small Grants Programme in 1992, UNOPS has executed more than to 13,500 grants to local communities for the implementation of initiatives specifically related to climate change mitigation.
UNOPS and climate change adaptation
UNOPS partners with other UN agencies to support development plans, policies and capacities to manage climate change risks and opportunities. For example, UNOPS executes a strategic regional technical support component (US$8.9 million) and a media awareness component (US$2.5 million) of the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP), which is a flagship programme of UNDP, established in 2008 in partnership with UNIDO, UNICEF and WFP, and funded by a $92.1 million grant from the Government of Japan. The AAP assists the governments of 20 African countries to establish integrated and comprehensive approaches to climate change adaptation.
UNOPS is also working on behalf of its partners to support marginalized and remote communities that are exposed to climate change impacts. In partnership with UNDP, the GEF, AusAID, the Government of Japan, the Government of Switzerland, and UN Volunteers, UNOPS is implementing 100 pilot projects to promote Community Based Adaptation in 50 countries worldwide. Through the provision of micro-grants, these community-driven initiatives aim to reach out to the poorest communities to increase their adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change.