The Spanish Climate Change and Energy Transition Law, recently approved by the Parliament, mandates the adoption of an International Climate Finance Strategy with several objectives, among others, to:

  • comply with Spain's international climate finance commitments

  • ensure that the action developed by the Spanish Co-operation is coherent with the objectives of the fight against climate change and integrates the climate agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), incorporating these principles into its regulatory and planning framework

  • orient international financing, co-operation and investment instruments in developing countries to preferably favour the ecological transition.

With regard to climate change, Spain announced in 2015 its commitment to double, by 2020, its international climate support from 2014 levels, by mobilising an amount of EUR 900 million. It is working to ensure the achievement of this commitment. In this context, the reported Spanish public climate support for the year 2019 amounted to EUR 740 million, showing a clear commitment to its 2020 goal, and a clear trajectory towards achieving it. At COP26, Spain announced that it will increase climate finance in order to reach EUR 1.35 billion a year by 2025, with a 50% increase in the current commitment.

Spain is making a significant effort to increase climate finance while reinforcing the following areas at the same time: aligning the support with the needs and priorities of developing countries as reflected in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement; and mainstreaming climate change in all international instruments.

The national reports to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) particularly, and other OECD reports and official questionnaires, are good opportunities to track their environment commitments in development co-operation.

The Fifth Spanish Co-operation Master Plan (SCMP) 2018-2021, as the main planning document for guiding Spanish development actions, integrates the new holistic vision inherent to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement as core elements. In this regard, it focuses on responding to the international commitments and including co-operation activities in support of partner countries’ efforts and priorities, such as the implementation of countries’ NDCs to the Paris Agreement.

Within Spanish development co-operation, several guidelines have been elaborated for this purpose, particularly for regional and bilateral actions. These include the Resilience Guidelines and the Environmental and Climate Change Mainstreaming Guidelines. The Spanish Agency for International Development Co-operation (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo, AECID) Guidelines to Mainstreaming contains a toolbox with reference to: environmental OECD markers, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), climate change risks assessments, etc. (pp. 99-193). These guidelines are under review and have inspired other guidelines used by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In 2021, new guidelines focused on Humanitarian and Emergency Aid are also under development aiming to integrate environmental issues, including climate change.

On the other hand, contributions to multilateral development banks and agencies very much take into account climate change financing priorities. Spain, through its board representatives, has traditionally supported a high priority for climate change in the country strategies of those institutions. In the case of Other Official Flows (OOF), and specifically regarding FIEM (a Spanish Fund that supports company internationalisation), different measures to strengthen the financing of sustainable projects are being studied, such as launching a responsible and sustainable financing code with which companies will have to comply.

Spain tries to include in its monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks several questions in this regard. Also, Spain requests that partners and beneficiaries include environmental indicators in the logical frameworks of operations, whenever possible.

During policy dialogues, or in other contexts, Spain shares its experience in this regard, which is specially referred to in the coal transition.

Several instruments of Spanish development co-operation encourage and support transition plans in partner countries.  

In terms of financial co-operation:

  • Fondo para la Promoción del Desarrollo (FONPRODE): Energy transition has an important role in this portfolio. The annual budget is EUR 200 million associated with endowments and disbursements. Commitments are: 30% in 2022 of EUR 60 million; 40% in 2023 of EUR 80 million; and 50% in 2024 of EUR 100 million.

    In terms of multilateral funds:

  • NDC Partnership: AECID has been aligned with it since 2015, resulting in synergies between funds from the NDC Support Programme with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), EUROCLIMA+ and Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (COMSSA).  

  • NDC Global Support Programme, with UNDP: Since 2015, AECID has been supporting partner countries in their adaptation and mitigation goals set in their NDCs. At the regional level, the agency supported the celebration of LEDSLAC (a network of organisations and individuals working in the promotion, design and implementation of Low Emission Development Strategies [LEDS] in Latin America and the Caribbean), and the Climatic Weeks in Latin American countries, among many other events. Some of the products include:

In terms of delegated co-operation (EU Funds and co-finance from Spain):

  • Latin American Investment Facility (LAIF, Regional EU Programme): Delegated funds from the European Union of EUR 15.3 million to promote investments in climate change adaptation and integrated management basin. It has an associated portfolio investment of EUR 888 million (EUR 323 million of which are related with the Spanish Water Fund and EUR 545 million with Bid Loans).

  • EUROCLIMA+ Programme (regional climate change and environmental sustainability programme for Latin America) (EU-delegated funds): AECID channels approximately EUR 24.3 million to be managed in 2017-23 in 18 countries in Latin America (including Cuba). Approximately EUR 400 000 is co-financed by AECID. There are three priority sectors: 1) risk management and reduction: EUR 7.2 million; 2) energy efficiency: EUR 4.9 million and 3) Water management in the urban context: EUR 4.5 million. A new EUR 3 million agreement will take place bilaterally and will mainly depend on the partner country demand.

  • Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (COMSSA) (EU Programme for energy access and energy transition and energy efficiency): Delegation agreement with the European Union for EUR 9 908 662, of which EUR 8 908 000 is European Union and EUR 1 000 662 is co-financed by AECID.

NDCs are the main references as they are national commitments. On Biodiversity, they also refer to National Strategies. However, support on biodiversity issues is not so much required by partner countries. Spain rather works on biodiversity through climate change perspectives, such as Ecosystem-Based Adaptation.

International Finance Corporation (IFC) guidelines are the reference for FONPRODE, AECID’s financial co-operation instrument. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) guidelines are the reference for some of AECID’s Water and Sanitation Fund. Spain also supports the activity of multilateral actors active in the sector, like the Green Climate Fund, the Global Environmental Facility, and the Adaptation Fund. In addition, it also supports specific climate change multilateral and regional initiatives and programmes, such as:

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – Regional Gateway for Technology Transfer and Climate Change Action in Latin America and the Caribbean (REGATTA).

  • Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency projects with a gender focus as well as general support to the Centre.

  • Several examples are activities within the RIOCC (Iberoamerican Network of Climate Change Offices) initiative, always focusing on countries’ priorities to tackle climate change, both on adaptation and mitigation.

  • ARAUCLIMA Programme: ARAUCLIMA is a programme of the Spanish Co-operation to fight against climate change and for sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The programme seeks to support the countries of the region in their actions to mitigate the effects of climate change and to adapt to changes in the environment, with the objective of preserving the environment and promoting sustainable development. The regional programme will provide continuity and strengthen the good practices that are already underway, making them more coherent, complementary and, if necessary, with greater regional projection. Institutions, organisations and regional platforms already consolidated and of recognised prestige in the region (RIOCC, REGATTA, Central American Commission for Environment and Development [CCAD], Centro de Coordinación para la Prevención de los Desastres en América Central y República Dominicana [CEPREDENAC], etc.) will be strategic partners to develop supranational actions/interventions that are part of the Programme. For the execution of these initiatives, the Programme will provide both technical and financial support. Among them, are: 1) knowledge management; 2) institutional strengthening; 3) technical advice and support; and 4) articulation of actors and instruments of Spanish development co-operation. 

  • EUROCLIMA+: The European Commission approved in 2016 a new EU regional programme to support environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in Latin America. The new programme, EUROCLIMA+, builds on the existing and successful EUROCLIMA programme, but also goes further by providing funding for a number of pilot projects in selected sectors. The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to environmental sustainability and climate change resilient development in Latin America. Specifically, EUROCLIMA+ will assist countries in the implementation of commitments made at climate change conferences. Within EUROCLIMA+, AECID manages the programme components "Disaster Risk Reduction and Management: Droughts and Floods" and "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency". In terms of programme activities, the choice of sectors and activities for EUROCLIMA+ is based on demand. EUROCLIMA+ programme activities include policy dialogue as well as technical and financial support for the development and implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation policies in Latin America. The programme aims to support the integration of climate change mitigation measures into the policy framework that would provide economic growth and social development alongside environmental and climate protection. In its horizontal component, EUROCLIMA+ focus on providing demand-driven services to Latin American countries. Particular attention is given to communication and knowledge management as well as capacity building with a focus on improving access to climate finance. Other activities include climate services and measures for improved policy dialogue in key sectors. 

  • UNEP-REGATTA: UNEP's REGATTA project has among its objectives to support initiatives that show progress in concrete processes of adaptation to climate change, which it does by supporting pilot projects of different scales. REGATTA currently supports, among others, the following projects in adopting an Ecosystem-Based Adaptation approach:

    • Bolivia: The general project objective is to strengthen the technical and practical capacities of agricultural producers in the application of adaptation measures to climate change and the conservation of their ecosystem in order to reduce the economic and social vulnerability of families living in the south and northeast of the Municipality of Entre Ríos. Specific objectives include: 1) to have an impact on the conservation of the ecosystem through a rational and sustained use of natural resources (water, soil, vegetation) avoiding the desertification of the productive capacity of soils, erosion and deforestation; 2) contribute to the management of sustainable livestock production through the application of measures to adapt to climate change, ensuring productive activity.

    • Guatemala: Adaptation to climate change by strengthening livelihoods associated with mangrove and cloud forest ecosystems in the Pacific slope of Guatemala. The general objective is to promote ecosystem-based adaptation in communities neighbouring a cloud forest and a mangrove forest on the Pacific slope of Guatemala. Specific objectives include: 1) analyse vulnerability, climate hazards and potential adaptation measures in two sites located in cloud forest and mangrove ecosystems; 2) to develop ecosystem-based adaptation plans focused on the prioritised livelihoods in the two project sites; 3) implement ecosystem-based adaptation demonstration actions at both sites; 4) pilot action on water storage, with emphasis on fog water in cloud forest in the municipality of Acatenango, Chimaltenango – and experience and establishment of 15 hectares of agroforestry systems with 40 direct beneficiaries in the village of La Soledad, Acatenango, Chimaltenango; 5) capacity building of 50 participants in water collection and harvesting, with emphasis on fog water (directed especially to a mostly indigenous group in the village of La Soledad, Acatenango). 

  • INTERCOONECTA Programme: This programme supports the institutional strengthening of partner countries in transition-related matters.

  • Fondo de Transición Ecológica (FONTEC): This programme prioritises nature-based solutions (NbSs) and circular economy. It had a budget of EUR 1 million for the first time in 2021. It is to be up scaled.

  • Non-governmental development organisations call for proposals and innovation in 2021 prioritising circular economy and nature-based solutions.

  • ECREEE support in the ECOWAS region to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. 

When Small Island Developing States (SIDS) partners request that Spanish development co-operation focus on environmental issues, Spain tries to find ways to do so. Spain has, for instance, some recent experience with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Oceania, supporting renewable energy in several SIDS. 

Many organisations and funds, to which Spain contributes, have their own access programmes to improve SIDS access to finance for sustainable and resilient development. Moreover, Spain is a long-term contributor to the Adaptation Fund, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), which all fund climate action in SIDS. Spain also supports Latin American and Caribbean SIDS through support to the activities of RIOCC, the Conference of Directors of Iberoamerican National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (CIMHET) and Conference of Ibero-American Directors of Water (CODIA) institutional networks on climate change, meteorological and hydrological issues, which gather professional technical national authorities.  

Spain is also active on coastal risks management and reduction associated with climate change in Latin American countries. With this work, AECID tries to respond to SIDS requests, such as Cuban and Dominican Republican demand, which are priority countries for Spain. In Haiti, Spain also has several projects on biodiversity and forest and soil conservation. In Oceania, Spain supports the IUCN’s Climate Change Mitigation and Risk Reduction Programme

REGATTA project, financed by AECID and managed by UNEP, provides support in this sector. Spain has also developed open, online training activities in this regard, such as a webinar with the Climate Adaptation Fund. Spain also carries out other capacity building activities in this area.  

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