A New Plan for Global Climate Action through Policy and Research Capacity Building
The new Comprehensive Action for Climate Change Initiative (CACCI) launched at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), implemented through the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research, Capacity and Influence (PRCI), will partner with key stakeholders, researchers and policymakers at the country level to create actionable programs and policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change. USAID’s recent webinar on climate change stressed the global importance of policy and programs founded on research for informed government decision-making. For those countries who have ratified the Paris Agreement, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) will outline plans and goals. NDCs essentially outline the emission reduction targets that the countries commit to and, broadly, how these will be achieved, while NAPs outline the policies and investments that countries will deploy to help their citizens (farmers and firms throughout the economy) to adapt to climate change in a way that protects their livelihoods. These documents are meant to guide the transition to net zero carbon emissions and climate change resilience. CACCI’s goal is to build the infrastructure and human capacity of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean so they can internally design and implement effective climate change policies and programs based on their NDCs and NAPs.
Creating Coalitions Globally
CACCI is a worldwide coalition of research institutions dedicated to helping countries use better research methodologies, data analysis and policy building to create climate resilience through implementation of NDCs and NAPs, based on the best available research.
The Comprehensive Africa Climate Change Initiative (CACCI-Africa) is a joint initiative with the African Union Commission (AUC) to promote climate resilience, food security and inclusive growth. Africa has been a leader in the charge to adapt to and mitigate climate change. Fifty-four countries in Africa have ratified the Paris Agreement and most updated their NDCs in 2020, on target, with a plan to update every five years. CACCI-Africa is partnering with the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI) and AKADEMIYA2063, an institute based in Rwanda, with the mission to lead state-of-the-art research and build technical capacities across Africa to support the member states of the African Union.
The Comprehensive Action for Climate Change Initiative — Asia (CACCI-Asia) is partnering with the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) Asia and will support country collaborators in the design, development and implementation of policies and programs. Resource stocktaking, policy mapping, formulation of NAPs, rapid field research and analysis are just the beginning. After these initial steps, CACCI-Asia will focus on strengthening capacity for country-level policy modeling and analysis.
The Comprehensive Action for Climate Change Initiative — Latin American and Caribbean (CACCI-LAC) is partnered directly with the local institutions and other regional bodies to support the development of transformational policies and programs and build human and institutional capacity to mainstream climate policy into strategies at the regional, national and subnational level for resilience and food security. CACCI-LAC will support partner Latin American countries and regional intergovernmental organizations and institutions in the implementation of resilience and food security investments under the NDCs and NAPs, as agreed upon in the Paris Agreement.
How We Will Accelerate Climate Change Policy and Programmatic Action
The process will work in four parts to create the framework needed for countries to implement their NDCs and NAPs:
- Clarify ambitions and set policy agendas: Establishing a baseline and conducting status assessments sets a knowledge base and potential for improvement. The construction of a comprehensive dataset in each country to enable tracking of implementation results — done by working with local stakeholders to draw on existing data and put in place mechanisms to sustainably generate needed new data — will pay dividends during step four.
- Strengthen human capacity and improve institutional infrastructure: The goal is to build the skills, infrastructure and expertise of national actors so they can assess, gather and analyze the data to make powerful and effective policy decisions. This will equip local institutions and experts with the tools, technologies and methodologies needed to support ongoing analysis that informs implementation following project completion.
- Facilitate implementation and progress toward net zero carbon emissions: Capacity to map public and private climate finance can be built and a project pipeline will create an ongoing flow of change. Project options like biodiversity conservation, land preservation and sustainable agriculture projects will mitigate climate change effects and also enhance adaptation. Vulnerability assessment committees for analytics, early warning and climate modeling are needed. Mutual accountability between governmental ministries and with technical and ministerial committees will be necessary.
- Track progress, report and monitor: To know if policy is useful, data needs to be gathered, assessed and shared with key stakeholders. Indicators need to be measured for effectiveness and channels of communication must be opened and strengthened so governments can use research and data to continue to build and disseminate new policies with the ultimate goal of net zero carbon emissions.
What CACCI Will Achieve
In the first year, we will focus on four to five countries as a proof of concept. After that, the full-scale rollout will begin, with 15 to 20 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. In five years, CACCI’s mission will complete the work in 40 countries, transforming how we react to climate change, moving us from a place of reactivity to a proactive and data-driven approach.
There is no single set of policies and programs that will work for each country. Each country will need options, plans and targeted outcomes appropriate to their circumstances. Their unique infrastructures, resources and goals must be considered. By building broad coalitions of local public and private stakeholders, results and data can be shared, collated and turned into actionable and effective policy measures.