Only one-fifth of climate finance going to adaptation, finds OECD

(Climate Change News, 13 Sep 2019) Donors overwhelmingly favour supporting projects that cut emissions rather than cope with the impacts of climate change, despite calls for parity.


Efforts to help the most vulnerable countries cope with the impacts of the climate crisis remain under-funded compared with emissions cuts, according to a report from donor countries.

Analysis by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – the group representing 36 of the world’s most developed countries – found that only 19% of climate finance mobilised in 2017 went to projects that helped communities adapt to climate change.

The vast majority of the money went to efforts to reduce emissions with 8% identified as serving both goals.

Developing countries have long pushed for climate finance to be evenly split between helping them to reduce emissions and to adapt to existing climate impacts. The UN’s Green Climate Fund aims to deliver a 50/50 split.

Saleemul Huq, director of the Bangladesh-based International Centre for Climate Change and Development, said the fact only 19% of climate finance had gone to adaptation in 2017, was “a great failure of the global community”.

“Even more disheartening is the fact that less than 20% of the meagre funding for adaptation goes to the most vulnerable communities in the most vulnerable countries,” he said.

The imbalance between cutting emissions and dealing with their effects is long standing and entrenched. In 2013, 17% of climate finance went to adaptation programmes, according to the OECD.

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Climate Change News, 13 Sep 2019: Only one-fifth of climate finance going to adaptation, finds OECD