Climate adaptation must be transformational, not just fighting fires

(The Third Pole, 13 Dec 2022) Increased funding was pledged for climate adaptation at COP27, but it is still nowhere near what is required and is being carried out in silos.

There was significant progress on finance for climate adaptation at COP27 last month. Governments agreed to move forward on the Global Goal on Adaptation established in the 2015 Paris Agreement, which seeks to improve the resilience of the world’s most vulnerable people to the impacts of climate change. New pledges of USD 230 million were made to the Adaptation Fund – a fund set up by the UN system in 2001 to generate financial support for countries in adapting to climate change, but for which funding pledges were not kept to. And UN Climate Change’s Standing Committee on Finance was tasked with preparing a report on doubling adaptation finance, which will be considered at COP28.

And yet these pledges pale in comparison with the costs of disasters already being borne. India alone suffered USD 87 billion of losses in 2020 due to extreme weather events, made more likely by climate change, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Additionally, the full extent of what climate change might actually entail – the magnitude of impacts, and the direct and the cascading impacts – is not well understood or known.

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The Third Pole, 13 Dec 2022: Climate adaptation must be transformational, not just fighting fires