CCAC Investments A Smart Contribution to the “Methane Finance Sprint”

by Martina Otto - Head of CCAC Secretariat, UNEP - 5 October, 2023
Funding SLCPs is a priority to make climate finance more efficient and slowing near-term warming.


Methane contributes to about 45% of net anthropogenic warming. Over 150 countries have now joined the  Global Methane Pledge (GMP) with its voluntary global goal of reducing methane by 30% by 2030, from 2020 levels. Cutting methane at this level is doable with existing technologies. Yet, methane mitigation efforts receive less than 2% of current climate mitigation financing.  

In April 2023 US President Joe Biden announced the Methane Finance Sprint – a funding campaign paired with philanthropic commitments – to cut methane emissions in line with the GMP and accelerate the phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Kigali Amendment.  
 
The sprint to turn such short-lived climate pollutant (SLCP) commitments into impact, from actions taken before 2030 will be critical to limiting warming to 1.5°C, while we also run the marathon of decarbonisation of our economies. Cutting methane, due to methane's higher global warming potential and its shorter lifetime in the atmosphere (over 80 times that of CO2 over a period of 20 years) helps curb near-term warming. Finance towards these actions needs to be commensurate with the opportunity.  

The CCAC’s 2021 Global Methane Assessment set the scene for the Global Methane Pledge and we continue to advocate for action at national, regional and global levels. With the secretariat functions formalised, and a key supporter of country requests, the CCAC is an important investment channel for turning commitment into action. Investments in the CCAC count towards the Sprint campaign– and translates to country-driven projects in developing countries and sectoral transformation efforts in major methane and HFC emitting sectors. 
 

Transforming commitment into action 

The first phase of CCAC activity significantly raised the place of methane and other SLCPs in the global climate agenda, and via regional integrated assessments, we identified a set of measures across key sectors that would generate multiple benefits for climate, clean air and anchored action in countries’ sustainable development priorities.  

The CCAC’s current phase is one of ‘implementation at scale’, including direct support to developing countries, facilitating matchmaking between CCAC partners and engaging with the official development assistance system, both bilateral and multilateral ODA. For the 2022-2023 period we funded $22 million USD worth of projects in over 50 ODA-eligible countries. The bulk of CCAC projects are split across three key sectors – fossil fuels, agriculture, and waste – and are country-driven, and targeted at ‘People, Plans and Policies’.  

People”: building local capacity for planning, policy work and frameworks, alongside strengthening of institutions. On a demand basis, we hire national consultants dedicated to short-lived climate pollutants like methane to coordinate and drive action within ministries. 

Plans”: supporting the development of national plans for SLCP and/or methane reductions that integrate climate and clean air actions and build whole-of-government commitment. This includes 22 projects targeting 2025 NDC enhancement – with more planning work to be funded in 2024, as well as the support provided to Methane Roadmap and Action Plan development in 30 countries.  

Policies”: supporting sector-specific implementation pathways, policy and regulatory development, regulatory enforcement, and strengthening monitoring and verification frameworks.  

Requests received so far have exceeded the available funding, and the CCAC has already a pipeline of new country-driven projects for the 2024-2026 period. This includes, for example, support to developing countries for projects to: 

  • Assess costs and secure financing to implementation their national methane roadmaps 

  • New capacity building and planning projects for SIDS in the Pacific and Caribbean 

  • Sector strategies to identify and implement cost-effective mitigation measures in key sectors 

  • Innovative market mechanisms to incentivize private-sector actors to reduce emissions  

  • Enhanced Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) systems to support the Global Stocktake process  
     

‘Moving the needle’ in key sectors 

The CCAC also convenes sectoral “Hubs” for each emissions source sector. Our Hubs have previously been influential in developing commitments such as the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership and helped to rally support for the Kigali Amendment. Hubs generate a common vision on positive tipping points in the sector, facilitate exchange of experience with existing and upcoming technologies and practices, and rally and coordinate support for existing SLCP mitigation solutions to be implemented by both private and public stakeholders. 

For the 2022-2023 period we have funded US$11 million in sectoral transformation projects – and more sector efforts are underway through CCAC Hubs. Some examples in the three methane source sectors include: 

  • Waste: Launch of a ‘High Ambition Group’ that coordinates and supports key stakeholders to accelerate global commitments and actions, as well as on-the-ground projects such as our work with Black Soldier Flies in Lima, Peru, and organic waste diversion in Argentina.  

  • Agriculture: A ‘climate-smart food security in Africa’ project to implement recommendations from the integrated climate and clean air assessment for Africa, as well as developing market-based mechanisms for low-emission rice in Southeast Asia.  

  • Fossil fuels: Building capacity for inventories, policies and regulation in the sector, in addition to advocacy to support scale-up of the OGMP2.0. 

Investing in the CCAC enables action in all aspects of our shared climate and clean air priorities. Slowing the rate of warming this decade will also helping generate food security, health, employment, and ecosystem outcomes. 

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