Bonn, Germany, February 9, 2011 – The only global climate change fund established under the Kyoto Protocol became an independent international legal entity after the German Government enacted the Act of Parliament last week.

“It is one of the biggest days in the history of climate finance and the operationalization of direct access” said Farrukh Khan, Chairman of the Adaptation Fund Board. “I am pleased that the German Government has expeditiously moved towards enacting this important legislation following the MoU that I signed with them in December 2010 in Cancun, Mexico,” he added.

“The conferral of legal capacity is an important step in moving towards establishing the institutional edifices in Germany. I am also confident that this step would allow many countries, who are obliged to contribute to the Adaptation Fund to expeditiously move in this direction,” said Mr. Khan.

This act enables the Adaptation Fund Board to enter into contracts with recipients especially in the case of direct access and to legally perform its duties under German Law.

“As a host country to the UNFCCC secretariat and the meetings of the AFB, Germany is delighted to announce that the Act of Parliament which confers legal capacity upon the AFB has now entered into force. This allows the Adaptation Fund to smoothly proceed as planned towards operationalization. A major step has been taken for the Fund’s important and innovative work on assisting particularly vulnerable developing countries in adapting to the adverse effects of climate change to become effective,” said Dr. Annette Windmeisser of Climate Policy and Climate Financing, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

At its 4th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Poznan in 2008, it was decided that the AFB be conferred legal capacity to facilitate its functions, namely “direct access” to its funds by developing countries. The Adaptation Fund Board accepted Germany’s offer to host the Fund and confer legal capacity.

The Adaptation Fund provides funding, including via direct access, to developing countries to implement projects and programs that reduce the economic and environmental pressures caused by climate change. The Adaptation Fund is financed by an international revenue source through two percent of the proceeds from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The Adaptation Fund is supervised and managed by the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB), which is comprised of 16 members and their alternates from both developed and developing countries.
The AFB has approved funding for four projects thus far, including a program in Senegal aimed at reinforcing coastlines, a project in Honduras aimed at protecting local freshwater supplies from changing rainfall patterns, a project in Pakistan addressing glacier lake outburst floods, and a program in Nicaragua on reducing risk from floods and droughts.