It’s all about balance, baby

25 June 2019

How do you achieve inner peace? It is all about the yin and the yang. What’s the point of professional success if you cannot share it with friends and family. Right? But this is not a kitchen lifestyle philosophy piece that takes your mind off the complicated issues negotiated here. ECO is talking about the balance of mitigation and adaptation finance, or more precisely: the imbalance. It is clear that mitigation finance is crucial. However, people need to prepare for climate change today €“ by this we don’t mean you taking off your jackets on the way to the World Conference Centre Bonn during Germany’s highest June temperatures ever recorded. We refer to the people and communities most vulnerable to climate change.
But, of course, you know all of that. That is why some of you came up with the ‘silver bullet” that will also be the focus of the TEM-A: private adaptation finance. For years now, some of you have been trying to find out how it could be the key to restoring the balance. The only problem is: so far it has not delivered so far. The fact is, there is a very limited scope that private finance can achieve!
Don’t get us wrong, we appreciate you taking the topic of private adaptation finance further. But it is only one bullet, and it is certainly not silver. If there is a lack of public finance and private finance won’t close the gap, what can you do? ECO has an odd idea (drum roll please)……… More and better public funding, including from new and additional sources of funding?! Crazy, right?
Now you”ve learned that balance is the ultimate goal. But wait, we are at the climate negotiations, it cannot be that simple. ECO’s second lesson for today is: sometimes you need to overcome imbalance and sometimes you need to leave false equivalency behind. 
The imbalance of instruments: If the business case for adaptation is hard to make, loans might not be the right instruments – so what’s wrong with grants? If you want to use one more than the other, let it be grants!
The imbalance of adaptation measures: Hard adaptation measures are nice. You can see them. You can touch them. Why bother yourself with those messy “soft adaptation” projects. But what is lacking the most is capacity. There are indeed some new fancy abbreviations around and ECO knows how much you love them. So try to add EbA to CBA! If you follow this advice, you will achieve inner peace.
 The imbalance of investments: Merely “climate-proofing” won’t let you achieve adaption Zen. What we really need are investments that contribute to a transformation to a resilient society! 
The imbalance of addresses: Do not only address the well-heeled corporate world but those who really need support in their adaptation efforts: MSMEs and small-holder farmers, who regularly have a lower adaptive capacity than bigger enterprises. Focusing on them will make you feel more relaxed than performing Surya Namaskar in the morning.
The imbalance of focus: Mobilising private sector money requires investments in public regulatory infrastructure (with public money). A revelation better than every yoga class.
So join us on this journey of finding the inner balance – and the yin and yang of adaptation financing.

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