In 2016, the Canadian province of Québec introduced its International Climate Cooperation Programme (ICCP) providing climate finance and support to developing countries. It is one of the first subnational climate financing schemes, and one that is, uniquely, funded by the province’s own carbon market.
Launched in response to the Paris Agreement, this Programme scales up financial resources and support available to the developing countries most exposed to climate-related damage. It is multidisciplinary, replicable, scalable and focused on both mitigation and adaptation efforts, largely in francophone communities.
ICCP is financed by a share of proceeds from Québec’s carbon market and uses these funds to forge links between Québec organizations, businesses, local NGOs, learning institutions and local counterparts, ultimately to answer the needs and priorities of local populations.
- 23 projects have been funded via Québec’s Climate Cooperation Plan, following two calls for proposals. These projects are in 11 African and Caribbean countries, directly benefiting over 150,000 people.
- USD 13.4 million was earmarked for the Programme — however, given its success and Québec’s willingness to fulfil the objectives of the Paris Agreement, a further amount of USD 9.2 million was added to ICCP’s budget.
- Québec’s ICCP is the first international climate cooperation programme by a subnational government that is exclusively financed by proceeds from that government’s carbon pricing instrument.
Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to climate change. For many of them, climate change is a major risk that threatens to increase poverty and undermine the basic security of their citizens.
Québec’s International Climate Cooperation Programme recognizes that local NGOs and learning institutions within developing nations are best placed to understand the needs and priorities of local populations. Thus, the Programme seeks to finance climate resilience solutions identified by these NGOs and learning institutions to help build a safer, fairer, and more sustainable world.
These proposed climate resilience solutions are then shared with organizations, businesses and research institutions in Québec, which helps promote collaboration and partnership.
Of the 23 projects funded by ICCP to date, 14 have been spearheaded by local NGOs, six by businesses and three by research institutions. Some projects also work with a range of partners—the Umalia business-driven project in Benin, for example, has collaborated with a Québec-based business, a university, a local NGO and local authorities. All approved projects are required to work with a local NGO to ensure they meet local needs and are viable long term.
Up to 75% of each project’s expenditure is funded by Québec’s carbon market, while the remainder is from other funding streams, such as private investment, donations, and government grants. Each project is responsible for raising these complementary contributions
Helping the Planet
All projects supported by ICCP help developing countries adapt to climate change, while many also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For example, a project in Senegal, managed by Centre de solidarité internationale du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean together with various research centers and local NGOs, aims to increase the efficiency of smokehouses operated by some 16 different groups of women, and thus reduce the use of wood harvested from mangrove forests.
Another project, in Burkina Faso, led by Polytechnique Montréal and the Ouagadougou-based Institut de Formation en Technologies Solaires Appliquées improves students’ practical skills operating solar technology. The project’s aims are consistent with Burkina Faso’s objectives of reducing oil imports, improving energy security, lowering fossil fuel pollution, improving air quality, and using solar energy to meet 30% of the country’s energy needs by 2030. It also helps future generations prepare for the arrival of new sources of renewable energy and acquire the knowledge needed to accelerate the deployment of these new technologies.
Projects supported by ICCP have a range of co-benefits, supporting the achievement of multiple sustainable development goals in partnership with the local communities.
The projects, for example, can help reduce hunger, improve global health, enhance the quality of education, empower women and share knowledge, notably on clean energy. Several ICCP projects specifically work towards empowering women, vulnerable youth, and rural communities.
Many ICCP projects improve systemic agricultural and agroforestry resilience in rural communities by developing sustainable practices in cooperation with local actors. These kinds of projects improve livelihoods and health, increase food security, and help spur economic development.
With an additional USD 9.2 million in funding having recently been added to ICCP’s budget, the number of projects supported will continue to rise.
For subsequent phases of the Programme, the Québec government is investigating expanding the Programme’s reach to countries outside of La Francophonie. In addition, the government is also considering expanding the list of eligible organizations, to include those that could be an asset for ICCP urban projects.
Moreover, ICCP represents a subnational climate cooperation program that can be replicated by other developed subnational governments. Its success demonstrates that subnational governments can act to provide support and solidarity to the developing nations most impacted by climate change.
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