Germany supports new fund to tackle climate change

River in Amazon rainforest

Amazon Rainforest; Foto: Oliver Hölcke

Using monies from the newly founded MRV Trust Fund (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification), the German Environment Ministry is supporting developing countries and emerging economies in particular in their efforts to measure their greenhouse gas emissions and to develop the ability to assess the impacts of climate change on individual regions. This establishes an essential foundation for achieving the international climate change mitigation target of limiting global warming to a maximum of two degrees.

MRV refers to the activities of collecting data on greenhouse gas emissions, processing this information in the form of reports and inventories, and monitoring it as part of an international process. For the first phase of work under the new Fund, the German Environment Ministry is providing the equivalent of around EUR 7 million, making it the largest donor. This amount is being provided through funding from the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The UK-based Children's Investment Fund Foundation will contribute around EUR 3 million. The MRV Trust Fund is managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Copenhagen. It is open to other donors from the private sector and governments.

The Fund is currently in the process of establishing its structures and will initially support up to 20 selected developing countries. The selection is based on quantity and type of greenhouse gas emissions, geographical distribution and country size. Working together with decision-makers, the Fund will develop political strategies to address climate change and examine the effectiveness of national climate policies in the selected countries. Only by using these instruments and by drawing on scientific expertise, public support and institutional capacities will these countries be able to assess the influence of climate change in their region.

Another area of focus is the training of local decision-makers and scientists. They will learn how to measure greenhouse gas emissions in their respective countries, how to monitor the emissions and how to publish the results in a transparent way.

An advisory body will support the substantive work of the Fund. For this purpose, prominent figures who are familiar with the topic of MRV will be recruited. Although a proportional representation approach is not used in relation to the countries, consideration is given to an appropriate weighting of the regions. It is envisaged that by 2020 the Fund will acquire the necessary expertise in terms of methods and the provision of support to the partner countries in order to effectively support the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). To further intensify this strong linkage with the international process, the Secretariat of the UNFCCC, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) are automatically represented as institutions both on the supervisory donor board and on the advisory board.