Scale up Adaptation Finance!

12 December 2019

ECO would like to remind developed countries of the US$100 billion climate finance commitment they promised to deliver annually by 2020. We are not sure whether you have noticed that there is actually not much time left to hit the target, as 2020 is getting closer.

ECO especially worries about the slow progress on the adaptation finance share of your commitment. The climate crisis is already hitting hard on many people, especially those who are the most vulnerable. Those people rely on you to live up to your promises by 2020.  But some developed countries seem to have forgotten the fact that they promised that half of their $100b promised would be for adaptation action. The recent OECD update made us doubt that developed countries are on the right track… In 2017, adaptation finance only rose to $13.3b. What is your plan to get to at least $50b for adaptation action by 2020?

ECO would like to suggest one concrete option available: contribute to the Adaptation Fund (AF)!

The AF is effectively channelling adaptation finance to people and communities most vulnerable to climate change. With its small, localized, mainly direct access projects, it serves as an important niche in the international climate finance architecture. That’s why last year you have decided that the AF is now serving the Paris Agreement. So, now you should ensure it can truly live up to its mandate. To lift the country cap and to scale up its actions, the Fund needs to have financial predictability.

Sometimes we hear developed countries saying that the reason for them to not spend adequate resources on adaptation action is that there are no eligible projects. But let us tell you: a great number of developing countries have a long pipeline of adaptation projects they would like to submit to the AF as soon as it lifts its country cap, eases access, and scales up its actions. But the Fund won’t be able to do so without financial predictability Sweden got that, and provided a 4-year pledge of about $53 million to the AF, or about 0.01% of their 2017 GDP. Sweden then called on other countries to do the same and join them. Norway followed the example set by Sweden, and will put a 2-year pledge of $15m into the AF.

ECO was a bit worried to hear that Germany, a devoted supporter of the AF, was unfortunately not able to put forward a multi-year pledge and decreased its contribution to less than half of last year’s pledge. ECO knows that Germany provides about half of its climate finance for adaptation actions, which is great. And we also know that you have been a big fan of this important Fund. So why are you channelling such a small amount of your adaptation finance provided through the AF? 

But ECO also calls on other developed countries: Scale up your adaptation finance contributions (e.g. to the AF) to fulfil what you promised.

On a happier note, we heard a rumour that Switzerland will also contribute to the AF! After Switzerland’s last contribution to the AF in 2013, we were already worried that it forgot about the Adaptation Fund. ECO hopes Switzerland will follow the example of Sweden and provide a 4-year pledge amounting to at least 0.01% of its 2017 GDP (about $68m).

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