Options Summer 2021: IIASA researchers and colleagues from several other institutions worked together under the auspices of the Green Climate Fund to help developing countries better understand issues around climate mitigation and adaptation, and build local capacity for targeted action to support vulnerable populations.

The Green Climate Fund was established as part of the Paris Agreement to help developing countries mitigate emissions and adapt to climate change.  

One of the aims of the organization is to develop institutional capacities to deliver climate action agendas, which was the mandate of a recent consortium involving IIASA, Climate Analytics in Germany, and the Center for Clean Air Policy in the US. Together, the group delivered technical assistance to help nine developing countries, including Mexico and Nicaragua, better understand climate mitigation and adaptation issues. 

Efforts were focused on helping to build institutional capacity on climate strategies. Services offered by the consortium included climate finance and policy mapping, climate risk education, macroeconomic impact analysis, and IIASA-led research on vulnerability assessments, greenhouse gas inventories, and energy systems modeling.  

Vulnerability assessments combined data from different models to calculate 14 indicators for scenarios of socioeconomic and climate change and to further understand to what extent the population and land area is exposed. The research shows how emissions mitigation and pursuing an agenda to reduce socioeconomic vulnerability would benefit these countries significantly.  

“This group has worked diligently to build capacity on mitigation and adaptation to climate change,” says IIASA researcher Edward Byers, who was one of five IIASA staff members involved in the project from 2019-2021. “In Mexico and Nicaragua, we worked directly with government agencies to assess climate vulnerabilities. This capacity building will help these countries target action to help the most vulnerable populations.”