Climate change in developing countries

Climate objectives: adaptation, leveraging the private sector, and mitigation.

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. Climate change affects every country and can have devastating effects on communities and individuals.

Developing countries are the most impacted by climate change and the least able to afford its consequences. Their vulnerability is due to multiple factors that can limit their ability to prevent and respond to the impacts of climate change. Climate change has the potential to reverse significant development gains made in these countries.

According to the World Health Organization, as of the year 2030, climate change is expected to contribute to approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress.

In developing countries, women and girls are disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of climate change. This deepens existing social inequalities and threatens women and girl’s health, safety, and economic well-being. Gender inequalities and development gaps increase the impacts of climate change for women, especially for those that depend on natural resources for their livelihoods.

Environment and climate action are most effective when women and girls play an active role. While they are the most vulnerable, women and girls are also powerful agents of change to advance action on climate change, pollution and other environmental concerns.

Our global efforts to reduce the effects of climate change

In March 2015, UN member states including Canada agreed to implement the 2030 Agenda and the accompanying Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Climate Action goal - SDG Goal 13 - calls on the international community to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. To achieve SDG 13, all countries will need to make efforts to accelerate and intensify their actions and investments on climate change.

In December 2015, the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Paris Agreement. In support of the Paris Agreement, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada would provide $2.65 billion (2015/2016 to 2020/ 2021) to help developing countries tackle climate change.

In 2018, Canada was President of the Group of Seven (G7) and played a leadership role on climate change by placing it high on the G7 agenda and ensuring an inclusive approach that also addressed gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

Our support for climate change initiatives in developing countries

As of April 2019, geographic distribution of the $2.65 billion to support most vulnerable countries to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change by 2020-2021.

Canada is committed to supporting the poorest and most vulnerable populations affected by climate change. We are delivering on a $2.65 billion climate finance pledge. This pledge will help developing countries transition to low-carbon and climate resilient economies. From the pledge, Canada has announced over $1.5 billion in climate change financing and will deliver the full amount by March 2021.

Canada’s financial commitment supports:

  • initiatives that significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in line with developing countries needs and plans
  • adaptation action, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable, including women and girls
  • mobilizing new private sector capital for climate action in developing countries

Funding is invested in sectors such as:

  • clean technology and renewable energy
  • climate-smart agriculture, sustainable forestry
  • watershed management
  • climate resilience

Learn how we support climate change projects and initiatives.

A feminist approach

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy identifies environment and climate action as a core action area and guides the delivery of Canada’s $2.65B commitment for climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.

Advancing the health and rights of, and protecting and empowering women and girls, is an overarching objective of Canada’s approach to international assistance. In the delivery of its gender-responsive climate action, Canada’s contributions include efforts to:

  • Support women’s leadership and decision-making in all aspects of climate change mitigation, adaptation, resilience-building and sustainable natural resource management
  • Ensure that climate-related planning, policymaking and financing address the particular needs and challenges of women and girls
  • Support employment and business opportunities for women in the renewable energy sector.

Partnerships to combat climate change in developing countries

Canada collaborates with a range of bilateral and multilateral partners, including developing country governments, non-governmental organizations, multilateral organizations and dedicated climate funds and financial mechanisms, such as the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility. Canada has also established funds aiming to mobilize private sector investment for climate change at a number of multilateral development banks.

As part of its $2.65 billion pledge, Canada is investing approximately $1.8 billion as loan finance, including through multilateral initiatives, to mobilize additional investments for climate action.  Major financial investments, from both public and private sources, will be needed to tackle the challenges of climate change. Recognizing the key role of the private sector in achieving both climate and sustainable development goals, Canada is taking an innovative approach by engaging with a variety of partners, including multilateral development banks, philanthropists and institutional investors. Canada is using public finance to help create new markets,  attract and mobilize climate investments from the private sector and scale up investments in developing countries consistent with a pathway towards low-emission, climate-resilient development.

See Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) website for a list of announcements made by Canada as part of its $2.65 billion pledge.

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