Being a global problem that must be addressed locally, climate change is arguably among the biggest challenges in the history of humanity. Addressing climate change adds a new dimension to fostering sustainable development and hence to GFA’s work. Climate change adversely affects our water supply and agricultural production, intensifies health risks and threatens biodiversity and corresponding ecosystem services. The increase of the occurrence and intensity of natural disasters leads to significant additional costs for our infrastructure. The resulting deterioration of the environment and economic hurdles increases migration in many countries. GFA strives to systematically address climate change in our daily operations while supporting our clients in preparing and implementing activities aligned with the Paris Agreement, its financing instruments as well with countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions.
In providing policy advice, we aim for a coherent policy response across all sectors, considering that delays in action will exponentially increase marginal mitigation and adaptation costs in the future. Hence, we aim to support low carbon development pathways considering the shortcomings of the Kyoto Protocol and being aware of the benefits and strengths of an integrated and systematic policy development. Along these lines we support institutional and private clients in cost efficient reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and in adapting to the unavoidable effects of climate change in due time.
GFA concept and services
Adaptation - GFA experts are experienced in strengthening capacities of governmental institutions, facilitating interministerial and cross-sectoral decision making processes, and developing climate change policy. GFA provides services for climate-change policy elaboration through effective data collection, and quality control of data input. Further, GFA supports clients in developing cross-sectoral scenarios and climate change modelling. Strategies and action plans serve as a basis for setting a robust climate policy that allows countries to define their future greenhouse gas mitigation and climate change adaptation targets, efficient climate change policy tools, and climate-proof sectoral policies.
Mitigation - In order to address climate change mitigation GFA’s activities concentrate on the energy sector, on the sector of land use, land use change and forestry and on climate finance. Our services range from appropriate land use planning to the complex implementation of funds for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). They also comprise the promotion of renewable energies and energy efficiency as well as structuring and managing dedicated funds for climate-related energy projects and sector programs. GFA provides consultancy services to governments, IFIs, development institutions and private clients.
Climate change policies - In-depth understanding and knowledge of the resources, processes and structures of governmental institutions underlie GFA’s work on strengthening the capacity to respond to climate change. The work focuses on:
- assessing vulnerabilities and economic effects of climate change,
- defining greenhouse gas mitigation and climate change adaptation targets,
- providing advice on climate change policy which includes both overarching national strategies and action plans as well as climate-proof sector policies.
Climate Competence Center
In order to effectively address the complex challenges of climate change, GFA established the Climate Competence Center (CCC), which supports GFA’s regional departments in technical issues and which offers cutting-edge technical advice for promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The CCC also develops realizable concepts and strategies with regard to public climate finance and to the application of marked-based financing mechanisms in order to facilitate the practical implementation of mitigation and adaptation activities.
Since 2016, our affiliated company HEAT has extended our range of services in the field of energy conservation and climate protection. Implementing projects for industry, commerce, and households, HEAT focuses on designing solutions for technologies and applications that protect the atmosphere- and stratosphere. HEAT supports our clients in developing and accomplishing projects for the phasing-out of ozone depleting substances and advises on new technologies with low global warming potential. HEAT is specialized in identifying and transferring policies and technologies that help decrease fluoride greenhouse gas emissions.
GFA Climate & infrastructure
GFA Climate & Infrastructure which opened its doors in November 2018 adds a further dimension to the GFA Group based on its ability to provide specific consultancy services on climate finance to support the programmatic roll-out of infrastructure projects in the 16 county South African Development Community (SADC) countries. Consultancy services that will extend to providing advice on infrastructure related funding structures and sources of funding as part of the advisory mandate in both the SADC region but other developing markets where GFA Consulting Group is active. This is enhanced by GFA CG’s involvement in the region, which goes back 20 years and GFA C&I’s access to a wealth of sector experience and knowledge provided by the GFA CG and which is recognised by the establishment of the Climate and Energy cluster, which GFA C & I is part of. GFA C&I will focus predominantly on climate mitigation and adaptation in the sectors of sustainable energy and energy efficiency, water and waste management, all of which are challenges in SADC region.
GFA C&I adopting the external partnership approach and in co-operation with several GFA CG operational units including the Climate Competence Centre, Energy, Health and Financial Systems Development have bid or secured joint mandates on the development of Hydrogen Fuel Cells (GIZ); the mitigation of energy related transmission and distributions losses (BMU); the viability of a proposed off-grid program in Mozambique and Zambia (KfW); the development of Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell program in South Africa (NAMA) and the development of a Malaria Development Fund (the Global Fund). In addition, GFA C&I is developing local opportunities based on the roll out of EV buses in Cape Town (IDC); the development of biogas in the South African abattoir industry and advising the Western Cape Government on the roll-out of a municipal infrastructure program (AFD).