Climate financing takes shape in Dominican Republic

Ana Maria Majano, La Plataforma Latinoamericana para el Desarrollo Bajo en Emisiones (LEDS LAC); photo: GIZ.

Ana Maria Majano, La Plataforma Latinoamericana para el Desarrollo Bajo en Emisiones (LEDS LAC); photo: GIZ.

There are good signs of early progress by the Government of the Dominican Republic in establishing finance mechanisms for its nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The process was given a major boost at FORO ZACK 2017, which was held from 4 to 6 December 2017 in Santo Domingo.

The two-day event included training for representatives of the public sector, the private sector and financial institutions in the areas of ‘Tax and financial system reforms for financing climate projects’ and ‘Climate financing instruments and the development of bankable projects’. The FORO was preceded by a National Council on Climate Change event on the subject of ‘CO2 certificate pricing and CO2 taxes/carbon pricing’. The event also hosted very specific discussions on the financing of renewable energy projects.

Following on from the FORO, the Dominican Ministry of Finance held out the prospect of incorporating climate issues into the national budget so that the first NDCs could be allocated a budget for 2019. The corresponding national institutions (ministries of economy, finance and planning) must now familiarise themselves with the new budget line for climate projects in the national budget plan. The Dominican Republic and the participating institutions are already actively working on the institutional framework as a basis for implementing the NDCs. Likewise, the Ley sobre el Cambio Climatico (climate law), whose development ZACK has also supported in its final phase of revision and consultation.

Pedro Garcia, Director Department of Climate Change, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Dominican Republic, during his presentation; photo: GIZ.

The FORO was organised within the framework of the ZACK project (Cement – Waste – Co-processing – Climate) financed by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB). It was chaired by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, and was attended by around 300 experts from 33 organisations (including 13 national organisations) as well as public institutions, associations, the financial sector and civil society. Four UN organisations (UN Environment, UNFCCC, UNITAR and UNDP) and speakers from a total of 14 countries were represented.

Dr. Günter Eberz, Director Project ZACK in discussion with panel, photo: GIZ.

FORO 2017 is the starting point for the fourth and latest component in the ZACK project, which was set up to help partner countries clarify and consolidate the institutional structures and processes they need in order to develop, evaluate, finance, implement and manage their nationally determined contributions. In addition, the newly commissioned IKI energy project entitled ‘Energy Transition DomRep’ will harness the synergies created by the FORO to specifically promote institutional architectures in the energy sector that will help deliver the NDCs.

FORO ZACK 2017 provided an opportunity for 20 national NGOs to present their objectives and activity portfolios at a permanent exhibition. Environmental activists and organisations critical of the Government were also involved in the permanent exhibition and took part in the panel discussions. As part of a joint initiative launched by the ZACK project and UN CC:Learn, a short film competition was held on the subject of climate change. The results were presented in the form of a multimedia show at the ZACK meeting centre in the main hall.

Every effort was made to ensure that the issue of climate change received sufficient public attention, and in the run-up to the event there was a surge of interest[1] on radio and television, and in print and social media.

Students from various Universitites as volantary support staff during the event; photo: GIZ.

[1] All the articles produced for the FORO will be available on the website of the National Council on Climate Change from January 2018 as part of the knowledge management system for the project.