Adapting, But Still Funding

18 May 2012

The Adaptation Fund (AF) has entered into its fifth year of operation. A couple of weeks before this Bonn session, the Board of the Fund (AFB) at its 17th meeting made substantial decisions for further advancing the Fund´s provisions. In particular, these covered critical aspects such as the guidance for the consultative process, the consideration of most vulnerable communities, the establishment of complaints procedures and increased transparency regarding the technical review of project proposals. In the course of this week, the AFB had a chance to share information on its progress with interested Parties. The AFB can be congratulated for increasing its attention towards these issues and for learning from its own lessons.

This is important for the AF at its critical juncture of raising funds for meeting the adaptation needs of vulnerable countries and financing innovative projects that benefit the targeted areas. The prices for Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), which is the innovative and main funding source of the AF, have drastically decreased over the last months. Part of this is due to the lack of global ambition in mitigation. The EU, with its Emissions Trading Scheme, is one of the key demanders of the CERs. However, the current EU target of  20% reduction is not only well below the ambition indicated by the IPCC with regard to the 2°C limit, but also affects the prospect of the ETS as a functioning setter of price signals for emissions. (Of course, other developed countries lag behind in their mitigation ambition as well).

The direct access  approach of the AF is speeding up, with more and more developing countries managing the associated accreditation process, while sadly the funding gap is increasing, making it almost impossible for the AF to respond to all funding requests.

Few resources have been dedicated to the AF, despite its innovativeness and its progress. Sweden has contributed this year for a second time; Spain is the top contributor, with 45 million Euro. There are still too many developed countries who have not paid into it, some of them sitting on the Board. (And one could also imagine that some developing countries would support the AF in their own interest, e.g. as a learning tool.)

To address this issue, the Adaptation Fund Board has now set the target to raise US$100 million additional funds by the end of 2013. ECO encourages all developed countries to put additional money into the Fund. These contributions should enable the AF to keep pace with need until the Green Climate Fund becomes fully operational, due to increasing funding demands from developing countries.

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