Our Perspectives


Cooperation and sharing can help combat climate change

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Chinese landscapeChina has pledged RMB 20 billion (US$3.13 billion) to support other developing countries in combating climate change through South-South cooperation. Photo: UNDP China

In this blog series, UNDP experts and practitioners share their perspective on issues of climate change, in the lead up to COP21 in December.

Around the world, countries are working towards ways to reduce climate change. And while individual countries must take into account local contexts, it is unnecessary to always “reinvent the wheel” with each new solution.  Through the South-South cooperation (SSC), UNDP connects various stakeholders to form partnerships across the developing world for pursuing these solutions. 

On climate change and environmental sustainability, UNDP delivers a portfolio of US$2.3 billion, supporting over 140 countries in pursuing low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways. A central element of this work is South-South cooperation, as the majority of developing countries are critical players who have joined the middle income club, with impressive economic growth, high savings and investment rates and a larger share of trade in goods and services.

Under the Canada-UNDP Climate Change Adaptation Facility, countries like Cambodia, Cape Verde, Haiti, Mali, Niger and Sudan are learning from each other’s national experiences to design and implement adaption approaches to agriculture and water management. As a result, for example, the countries now have improved climate information systems for informed decision-making and integrated planning approaches. The knowledge sharing has enabled them to test and scale up climate risk management measures and strengthen capacity to access and manage climate finance.

In partnership with Denmark, UNDP is working with China, Ghana, and Zambia on renewable energy technology transfer. For example, the China technology transfer to Zambia specifically focuses on off-grid solutions for those communities located far from the power grid. This spotlight on rural electrification allows the part of the Zambian population that is missing out on development opportunities and to enhance their livelihoods and quality of life through the provision of clean, sustainably-produced electricity.  

By reducing barriers and risks in the renewable energy sector, countries can attract higher levels of private investment and capital, . In Uruguay, with the policy framework in place to manage the risks inherent to renewable energy investments, 340MegaWatts of wind farms are now operational, with a total of 1GigaWatt in investment anticipated by the end of 2015. This experience has been shared with Tunisia and other developing countries as a valuable solution that can be efficiently adapted to various different contexts.

South-south cooperation has also significantly generated support and commitment from northern partners. The recent announcements on climate change actions made by China, jointly with the United States and subsequently with France, have been particularly impressive. China’s pledge of RMB 20 billion (US$3.13 billion) to support other developing countries in combating climate change through South-South cooperation, as well as an additional US$2 billion to support South-South Cooperation in general, demonstrate a strong commitment to the global sustainable development agenda.  

In September this year, the world adopted a common vision for sustainable development. It highlights the strong interrelations of climate change and poverty, and calls for urgent actions to combat climate change and its impact on people and ecosystems.  

In the next few weeks, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), countries will ink a new universal agreement in Paris to scale-up such commitments before it is too late for the planet and humanity. 

Looking forward, South-South co-operation will play a vital role in the successful implementation of a new global climate agreement, by accelerating development momentum across the South, building resilience and mitigating risk.

In the lead-up to the COP21 Paris climate change conference, UNDP's experts and practitioners highlight the challenges and opportunities in addressing this global concern. For more information, visit http://www.undp.org/cop21

Magdy Martínez-Solimán blog series Climate change and disaster risk reduction Energy Environment Climate change Renewable energy Adaptation partnerships Canada Denmark China South-South cooperation