Norway: More funds to climate change fight

“Food production is becoming increasingly difficult, and more people are going hungry. We must focus more strongly on adaptation to climate change. The Government’s new strategy on climate change, hunger and vulnerability will play a part in this,” says Norway’s Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein.

2020 was one of the three warmest years ever recorded. And in 2019, 24 million people had to abandon their homes because of extreme weather events, flooding and drought.

Mr Ulstein adds that “The number of people suffering from hunger has risen by 60 million in only five years. Vulnerable groups and the poor are being hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

“We are not just experiencing a climate emergency – we are also dealing with emergencies relating to food supplies, refugee flows and protection of vulnerable groups. This is why Norway is increasing its funding for climate change adaptation and food security efforts from NOK 3.2 billion to NOK 4 billion,”

Even if the world succeeds in making deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, it will take time before the effects are felt.

Developing countries are calling for more climate finance to be provided for adaptation. Norway has provided a relatively high level of climate change-related aid over the years, but like most countries, has focused more on mitigation than on adaptation.

Norway’s new strategy on climate change, hunger and vulnerability marks a shift in emphasis towards climate change adaptation in Norwegian development cooperation.

The country’s Climate and Environment Minister Sveinung Rotevatn notes that “Climate change is already having serious consequences for large numbers of people, and many developing countries are calling for support for their adaptation responses. This strategy will be an integral part of Norway’s implementation of the Paris Agreement and shows how we can enhance the adaptation element of Norway’s climate-related aid.”

The strategy is intended to assist developing countries in improving their adaptive capacity to climate change and their capacity for disaster risk reduction and for dealing with climate-related and natural disasters.

It is also intended to play a part in ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable food systems built on agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries.

‘Climate change is increasing food insecurity. This is why the Government is giving the fight against hunger such a prominent place in the climate change adaptation element of its development cooperation. Food production systems and small farmers need to be better equipped to deal with a more unpredictable situation, for example through good agricultural practices, better advisory services, improvements in plant and animal health and supplies of seed adapted to local conditions,’ notes Minister of Agriculture and Food Olaug Bollestad.

Climate change and security is another important topic in the strategy. Half of the 20 countries where the level of exposure to climate change is highest are also dealing with armed conflicts.

Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide notes that “Climate change often worsens underlying conflicts. It is therefore vital to build up knowledge about climate and security risks in individual countries, so that the UN Security Council can do more to prevent, deal with and resolve climate-related threats to international peace and security, for instance in the Sahel region.”

Implementation of the strategy will be a joint effort involving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the embassies, the Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, and Norad and Norfund.

Norwegian Government