A timely reminder that countries need to step up adaptation to avoid human disasters
The Stockholm Environment Institute welcomes the urgent call on nations to step up action to adapt to climate change that the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) issued in its Adaptation Gap Report 2020 today.
The report stresses that adaptation is a key pillar of the Paris Agreement and fundamental to avoiding serious human and economic damage. But it finds that implementation of adaptation plans is lagging considerably, not least because public and private financing for adaptation is lacking.
Photo: Mohamed Sameeh/Unsplash
“The report makes very clear that countries need to urgently ramp up the ambition and effectiveness of adaptation action around the world,” says Richard Klein, Senior Research Fellow at Stockholm Environment Institute. ”We also need greater understanding of what works best to achieve effective adaptation so that the investments made have meaningful impact. For that, we are now
undertaking work to examine the effectiveness of adaptation funds.”
The UNEP report constitutes a huge financing gap when it comes to adaptation projects. ”This shows that we need to take a much wider view of what is today considered ‘climate finance’, and start advancing the Paris Agreement’s broader goal of making all financial flows consistent with a low-emission, climate-resilient future. This would mean that public actors embrace their role as de-riskers of investments, and that funds are used strategically, including to leverage much larger private investments,” says Klein.
”2020 was recently found to be on par with 2016 as the warmest year on record. As glaciers retreat and hurricanes and tropical storms reach record numbers, the need to adapt is now as urgent as the need to mitigate,” says Klein. But the COVID-19 pandemic has also made it abundantly clear that one country’s resilience is the product of all countries’ resilience. Adaptation is not a question only for developing countries: Climate risks leap across sectors and national boundaries, impacting access to food supplies, migration and other transboundary issues and thereby affecting industrialised countries and those themselves at low risk from the physical impact of climate change. That’s why we need new global cooperation on adaptation.”
Further information about SEI work on adaptation:
Understanding effects of finance for climate change adaptation
Climate change adaptation finance: are the most vulnerable nations prioritised?
The Paris Agreement Five Years On: Adaptation to dangerous climate change is not conceding defeat on mitigation
Five big ideas to make the Global Goal on Adaptation live up to its name
What is holding back the promise of nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation?
Adaptation Without Borders
For more information please contact:
Annika Flensburg, press officer, Stockholm Environment Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org, +46739016011
Stockholm Environment Institute is an international non-profit research and policy organization that tackles environment and development challenges. We connect science and decision-making to develop solutions for a sustainable future for all. Across our eight centres in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, we engage with policy processes, development action and business practice throughout the world. www.sei.org @SEIresearch @SEIclimate