LONDON, November 3.
Along with finding the money and political will to cut emissions and stop global warming, hundreds of billions of dollars are needed to protect countries from changes that are faster than scientists expect.
Current international finance flowing to developing countries is between 5 and 10 times lower than needed, according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme.
In 2020, donor countries allocated just $29 billion to help poor countries adapt to climate change, far below the $340 billion a year that could be needed by 2030.
“It’s time to rethink global climate adaptation,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a media statement, noting that he asked green climate funds to pilot a new accelerator to co-invest with public and private financiers.
The accelerator helps financiers to work with developing countries, to invest in their adaptation priorities and specific projects.
Adaptation funds are often spent on programs such as improving food security by planting heat and drought-tolerant crops, or on infrastructure such as sea walls to prevent rising tides.
At last year’s UN climate summit in Glasgow, developed countries agreed to double adaptation financing to $40 billion a year by 2025.
At COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, starting November 6, countries “must present a credible roadmap with clear milestones on how this will be delivered – not as a loan, but as a grant,” Guterres said.
Africa, in particular, is struggling to respond to extreme weather events. Current annual adaptation spending on the continent is $11.4 billion, or 40 percent of climate finance, according to a report by the Global Center for Adaptation, a Netherlands-based international solutions broker. It would take an additional $41 billion a year to meet countries’ emissions commitments.
“Adaptation finance is scaling up too slowly to close the investment gap in Africa,” said Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the GCA. One key program to address this shortfall is the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program, which aims to raise $25 billion for countries over the next three years.
It is “the best vehicle to address the adaptation investment gap in Africa, to ensure action from all available sources, including the private sector,” Verquoijen said.
Reporting by Gloria Dickey in London; Edited by Frank Jack Daniel
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