RELEASE: WRI Launches Program to Help Governments Mainstream Climate Adaptation, with Support from U.S. Government
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, EGYPT (November 11, 2022) — Today at COP27, the World Resources Institute and its partners launched the Resilience and Adaptation Mainstreaming Program (RAMP), a capacity-building program for governments to address the severe economic risks of climate change. The United States government is supporting the RAMP initiative as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE).
RAMP helps build the capacity of national governments of low- and middle-income countries to address the negative impacts of climate change. Since climate change is already threatening governments’ ability to manage their economies, control their finances, and pay their debts, RAMP offers Ministries of Finance, Economics and Planning specific tools and practices to manage the economic impacts of storms, droughts, sea level rise, and life-threatening higher temperatures.
“President Biden announced his emergency plan for adaptation and resilience, PREPARE, at COP26 in Glasgow last year because we’re committed to helping vulnerable countries and communities adapt to the impacts of climate change” says U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry. “This year, as part of PREPARE, we are announcing our support for RAMP. RAMP cuts across the three pillars of PREPARE — raising awareness of climate risk; strengthening the capacity to manage those risks in planning, policy, and budgeting; and helping unlock finance for adaptation action.
Central ministries make important fiscal and financial policy decisions that fundamentally shape a country’s growth path. They allocate scarce budget resources across all sectors that need to strategically make climate-informed decisions, yet often do not have the support needed to do so. They are asking for better data, models, and skills to fulfill these critical functions.
According to Kerry, “Climate change adaptation requires an all-of-government approach. It has to be embedded in planning at all levels, from local to macro, and in all sectors. But someone in government has to look across those levels and sectors and set investment priorities. That is the job of Ministries of Finance, Planning, and Economy. Hence the way RAMP focuses on building capacity in those central ministries is an essential part of how PREPARE will help vulnerable countries improve their climate resilience.”
Addressing this governmental capacity gap is urgent — and is necessary to systematically identify needed investments and to mobilize climate finance. Countries’ current debt levels, in the wake of COVID-19 and increasing climate impacts, are unsustainable: a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report found that 54 low- and middle-income countries face severe debt problems, of which 25 are in Sub-Saharan Africa and 28 are among the top-50 countries most vulnerable to climate change. These issues cannot be effectively managed without well-informed and engaged central ministries.
“The damages caused by climate change are being felt across Africa like never before, including here in Uganda,” says Sam Mugume, Assistant Commissioner at the Ministry of Finance of Uganda. “Climate change affects our economy, our exports, our tax revenues, and our banking system. The costs of building climate resilience are rising. We are incurring greater debt to manage climate risks, and this will get worse. We welcome support from RAMP and the international community to better understand and manage these risks.”
One unique feature of RAMP is that in addition to working with governments, it works closely with local universities through the University Network for Strengthening Macro-financial Resilience to Climate and Environmental Change. By building capacity in universities through improved climate-related curriculum, teacher training, and applied research — and involving university faculty in training government officials — the benefits of the program become more sustainable. The University Network and development of RAMP’s core academic curriculum is led by the Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS University of London and has ten founding universities from around the world. RAMP also collaborates closely with technical partners such as the World Bank, IMF, UNDP, the NDC Partnership, and the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action.
“A lot of technical assistance programs die out when donor funding dries up after a few years,” says Wanjira Mathai, Managing Director for Africa and Global Partnerships at WRI. “In RAMP, we wanted to develop a model that was both more focused on building local institutional capacity and more sustainable than traditional approaches. Building expertise in universities as well as in governments is absolutely the right way to go.”
During its first year, RAMP will roll out its support to ministries of finance and universities in several African countries. Potential pilot countries are Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Given the growing need for central ministries worldwide to improve their capacity to address climate impacts, RAMP will scale up to other regions of the world in the coming years.
About World Resources Institute
World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization that spans more than 60 countries, with international offices in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, regional offices in Ethiopia (for Africa) and the Netherlands (for Europe), and program offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Our more than 1,700 experts and staff turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. More information at www.wri.org or on Twitter @WorldResources.
PREPARE aims to help more than half a billion people in developing countries to adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change by 2030. PREPARE activates a whole-of-government effort that brings the force of 18 U.S. Federal agencies to accelerate adaptation action and support in countries and communities vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Through PREPARE, the United States will work with partners to strengthen climate information services and early warning systems to equip people and institutions with the information they need to make sound decisions; build capacity to mainstream adaptation into policies, programs, and budgets; and help unlock finance to support national, sub-national, and local climate adaptation action. The President will work with Congress to provide $3 billion in adaptation finance annually for PREPARE by FY2024. It is the largest U.S. commitment ever made to reduce climate impacts on those most vulnerable to climate change worldwide.