ADP Can Finally Fix Finance Failures in Adaptation

6 June 2013


Today, Parties will put forward ideas for advancing adaptation in the 2015 deal under the ADP. 

As dangerous climate change looms closer and closer, and with little sign of increased mitigation ambition, millions of the poorest people in the world will face impacts that threaten their lives and livelihoods. Response to climate change through a new agreement must see adaptation as an essential component.

The roundtable will have inputs from the technical bodies, Adaptation Committee and LEG into the ADP to avoid duplication of efforts and to learn from ongoing work. This is important, so as to understand where the current architecture can be improved. However, it is even more important to identify major gaps that need to be addressed. Here, ECO sees an important role in the ADP process in correcting some of the shortcomings of past agreements.

The most important gaps are related to finance. Hardly any donor country has achieved the balance between adaptation and mitigation in the fast start finance period that was agreed in Copenhagen and Cancun. Adaptation finance lags far behind mitigation finance. Both are crucial and both need to expand rapidly.

Secondly, ECO also highlights the problem that currently only donors determine what kind of projects might be counted as fast start finance, without a voice for the recipient countries in determining whether the reported finance is really climate finance. ECO has serious doubts about some projects that have been reported as adaptation finance.

Finally, climate finance is undermining financing for poverty reduction and addressing the needs of the poorest. Almost all donor countries count adaptation finance as Official Development Aid (ODA). We observe many countries report rising climate finance figures, while total ODA is decreasing (often far below the committed 0.7%). If it had been agreed that adaptation finance counted as ODA and that it would target the most vulnerable and poorest communities, this would be less of a concern. But this commitment was deleted in the Copenhagen and Cancun negotiations, over the objections of civil society.

Prioritising the needs and risks of the most vulnerable people is essential. This means scaling up new and additional adaptation finance for post-2020, based on past and future responsibilities for causing the problem, and allocating at least 50% of public climate finance to adaptation.

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