Climate Change

COP27: Adaptation pledge sum 35% less than Glasgow, despite UN call for more support

Forty per cent of adaptation fund pledged in Glasgow not yet met 

By Jayanta Basu
Published: Friday 18 November 2022
Mikko Ollikainen, head of the Adaptation Fund, said 60% of the adaptation fund pledged in Glasgow has been received. Photo: Jayanta

The amount pledged for climate adaptation at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is 35 per cent less than what was pledged in Glasgow last year, according to the United Nations Adaptation Fund.

An amount of $230 million was pledged during COP27, which is substantially lower than the $356 million pledged at Glasgow last year, the Fund has said.

The Adaptation Fund is an international fund that finances projects aimed at helping developing countries to adapt to the harmful effects of climate change. It has been set up under the Kyoto Protocol of UNFCCC.

The cut has happened despite a UN call in the Glasgow Climate Pact to developed countries for increasing adaptation finance substantially.  

The fund crunch is likely to hit developing and vulnerable countries as climate-change inflicted damages are likely to magnify in the absence of adequate adaptation safeguards.

So far, the Fund has approved 140 projects globally, of which seven are in India and spread across the country.

A senior official from the Fund also admitted to this reporter that “so far only 60 per cent of the pledged amount in Glasgow” has been actually realised. That puts in the shade the role of developed countries in countering global climate impact.

Glasgow vs Sharm El-Sheikh

The comparatively reduced pledge in Sharm El-Sheikh is despite the Glasgow Climate Pact urging “developed country parties to urgently and significantly scale up their provision of climate finance, … for adaptation so as to respond to the needs of developing country parties …”. 

The latest draft negotiation text accessed by this reporter at COP27 also noted “with serious concern the existing adaption gap between current levels of adaptation and levels needed to respond to impacts and reduce climate risks in line with findings from the contribution of Working Group II to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report”.

The text in Sharm El-Sheikh — released at 12.30 pm Indian time — recognises “the centrality of the role of the adaptation fund in the climate finance architecture” and urged “all contributors to fulfil their pledges in a timely manner”. But clearly nobody is listening.

Apart from the US, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Japan paid more than $10 million while various other countries made smaller contributions.

While Germany remains the main provider, funds have also started to flow from new countries like Austria, Japan, Iceland and the Republic of Korea.

John Kerry, US special presidential envoy for climate, observed that the Adaptation Fund “is already proving itself to be remarkably effective,” and promised $100 million in line to President Joe Biden’s earlier comment about doubling the Adaptation Fund support.

“We have so far received about 60 per cent of the money pledged during the Glasgow COP; few major country pledges are stated to be stuck in respective internal clearances,” Mikko Ollikainen, head of the Adaptation Fund, told this reporter in an exclusive interview. 

“We have so far allocated about $1 billion of around $1.3 billion for around 140 concrete adaptation projects in about 100 developing countries including India covering 38 million beneficiaries. But definitely, we need much more support from all sources to expand the Fund’s reach, as adaptation is a key instrument in countering climate change in developing countries,” Ollikainen added.

The official however claimed that the board still has enough money to approve projects but indicated that more money is required from all sources.

“While we say all sources, we mean literally all sources including public and private sources; private sources are important as only public sources will clearly not be adequate,” the official clarified.

However private sources, so far, have remained symbolic with only $11,000 being promised in COP 27.

Follow COP27 with Down To Earth

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.