Climate Change

Adaptation Gap Report 2022 raises alarm on climate finance

International adaptation finance flows are 5-10 times lower than required

By Akshit Sangomla
Published: Thursday 03 November 2022

Global efforts in adaptation planning, financing and implementation are not enough to prepare vulnerable communities around the world to adapt to the rising risks from the impacts of climate change, according to United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Adaptation Gap Report, 2022.

The report was released November 3, 2022. It comes at a time when the entire world has experienced devastating climate change impacts, mainly in the form of extreme weather events, throughout the year. Many of these events have been partly attributed to global warming by climate scientists.

The report found some progress on adaptation plans from national governments, but they are not backed by finance.

A third of the 197 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have incorporated quantified and time-bound targets on adaptation. And 90 per cent of them have considered gender and disadvantaged groups, the report read.

On the other hand, international adaptation finance flows are five-10 times lower than required and this gap continues to grow. Finance for adaptation increased to $29 billion in 2020 — only four per cent increase over 2019.

This is when developing countries’ estimated annual adaptation needs are $160-$340 billion by 2030 and $315-$565 billion by 2050.

The report also highlighted that the best way was to link actions on mitigation and adaptation in terms of planning, financing and implementation, which would provide co-benefits. One example of this could be nature-based solutions. 

“Climate change is landing blow after blow upon humanity, as we saw throughout 2022: Most viscerally in the floods that put much of Pakistan under water,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP, in a press release. 

Countries need to back the strong words in the Glasgow Climate Pact with strong action to increase adaptation investments and outcomes, starting at COP27, he added.

“The adaptation gap must be addressed in in four critical ways,” said Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, at a press conference.

The first is to increase financing for adaptation. He asked developed countries to provide a clear roadmap for their promise of doubling finance for adaptation to $40 billion, which they had promised at COP 26 in Glasgow. 

“Second, the world urgently needs a new business model for turning adaptation priorities into investable projects,” said Guterres. 

There is a mismatch between what governments propose and what financiers consider investable, he added. “The investment pipeline is blocked; we must unblock it now,” Guterres said.

The third was the availability of climate risk data and information — an issue for adaptation planning in many developing countries. 

The fourth priority was the implementation and operationalisation of early warning systems against extreme weather events and slow onset changes such as sea level rise, according to Guterres. 

A proposal for the same would be presented by the World Meteorological Organisation at the COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, beginning November 7. 

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