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News and Media
Initially overshadowed by climate mitigation, adaptation has gained momentum in the climate negotiations. A new SEI report on adaptation finance analyses critical issues to be resolved at COP 15 in Copenhagen this December.
As scientific evidence mounts on the inevitability of climate change and its adverse effects on the world, political pressure to take firmer action on adaptation, including the provision of financial resources, has increased accordingly.
The Bali Action Plan (BAP), adopted at COP 13 in 2007, was an important milestone in raising the political status of adaptation and laying the foundation for a more detailed discussion of adaptation finance. But it has also become one of the thorniest issues within the international climate change negotiations.
With preparations for COP 15 gathering speed, an international team of eight SEI researchers has produced a new report that provides negotiators with a comprehensive picture of the contentious issues surrounding adaptation finance, and with options to address these issues.
Download the report here
Crucial to COP 15 success
The report, entitled “Adaptation Finance under a Copenhagen Agreed Outcome”, looks at how sufficient money could be generated to meet adaptation needs in developing countries, how the money could be managed and how it could be delivered to developing countries. The report has identified policy options that promote a fair, efficient and flexible process of international adaptation funding.
- An agreement on adaptation finance will be crucial to the success of the Copenhagen negotiations, says co-author Åsa Persson. She says that developing countries are becoming impatient. They increasingly see adaptation finance as an issue of justice, in line with the internationally agreed polluter-pays principle and previously agreed multilateral commitments.
Uncertainty no excuse for not acting
The report argues that uncertainty about the amounts of money needed for adaptation should not be used as an excuse to postpone a decision on adaptation finance.
- The recent cost estimates vary, but they leave no doubt that the money developing countries need to invest in adaptation far exceeds the amount currently available. While more detailed estimates are necessary, current commitments should be honoured, co-author Richard Klein says.
- Developing countries should not have to rely on voluntary contributions from a handful of countries to be able to address a problem for which they are not responsible, Klein says.
Make adaptation country-driven and diverse
To ensure the effective use of the money, adaptation actions need to be prioritised and implemented by the countries most affected by the adverse effects of climate change. Furthermore, money must be generated through a multitude of public and private sources if adequate levels of funding are to be provided.
- If funding streams are consolidated at the international level, the use of multiple sources of adaptation finance need not result in further fragmentation, says co-author Clarisse Kehler Siebert.
The report identifies a number of specific, mandatory financing options within assessed national contributions, international levies, obligations passed on to the private sector, or any combination of these.
It argues for specified financing within a prescribed timeframe, accompanying accounting guidelines, and an elaboration of fundraising instruments to generate new and additional funds.
Download the report here