In 2007, the European Union proposed to launch a global alliance with the developing countries that were most vulnerable to climate change. It became operational the year after. Ten years ago, nobody was linking climate change to improving livelihoods. Climate change was perceived as being something technical, and in many countries it did not seem to affect everyday life.

Today the perception is different and climate change is recognised as one of the main global challenges. When global leaders signed the Paris Agreement in 2016 making COP21 a worldwide event, they showed that they were taking climate change seriously.

The Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) flagship initiative is one of the EU’s mechanisms to respond to global challenges while developing programmes that are specific to each region. Today GCCA+ has funded 72 projects of national, regional and worldwide scope in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific.  GCCA+ commitments amount to 795 million euros for the period 2007-2020.

10 years Global Climate Change Alliance

For the 10 years anniversary GCCA+ is dressing up with a new visual identity recalling the colours of nature and using attractive graphic elements with the patterns of water and earth. Videos, discussions, stories, social media competitions and a special event for the ten years since the first GCCA project will accompany us all along 2018.

Increasing resilience to climate change is the GCCA+'s main goal, but there is a new bright side of the story: when people do something to counter the effects of climate change they often discover that they have improved their lives altogether. Many of our GCCA+ stories are a testimony of how local communities improved their livelihoods when they had started off by “just” facing climate change emergencies!

It might be the small island in Tanzania (Kokota) where reforestation and solar panels have not only changed the disastrous trends that were leading the population with no hope to survive, but also created new skills and new sources of energy. Solar panels on top of a water tank reservoir became a battery charging station, and portable motorcycle batteries allowed islanders to charge phones and lamps at their very homes. In Timor Leste a mountain community that was forced by drought to find new ways has improved its livelihood and the environment through aquaculture, soil conservation and new and more resilient crops.

Climate is changing, let’s change for the better!

In these 10 years the EU has tirelessly led a process that made the case for climate change worldwide and thus, largely contributed to the new global policy framework. Today EU and its Member States have assumed a leading role on climate finance. In the EU at least 20% of the 2014-2020 budget – as much as €180 billion – will be earmarked for climate change-related actions, €14 billion of which is expected to be spent on the EU’s Development Policy in line with the new “European Consensus on Development” –  the EU's policy framework and response to the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

As part of this response, the EU GCCA+ initiative contributed since 2015 with around 100 million in support of the EU climate action and in particular in support of its partner countries in implementing their national strategies and international climate commitments, also in line with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) commitment by parties under the Paris Agreement and UNFCCC framework.

We will come back on this new evolution in a future newsletter!

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