Climate mitigation and adaptation: How do bilateral donors fare?

The goal of last week’s U.N. Climate Summit was to spur support for a global climate agreement in Paris next year. Nonetheless, climate finance was still able to make its way into the agenda. Photo by: Rick Bajornas / United Nations

Last week, world leaders, development officials, and civil society and private sector representatives gathered in New York for the U.N. Climate Summit. The meeting lies outside U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, and its goal was to spur support for a global climate agreement in Paris next year. Climate finance nonetheless made its way into the agenda, as France and a number of donors pledged $1.3 billion to the Green Climate Fund.

How would GCF spend this money?

A multilateral mechanism that has yet to gain momentum, GCF only recently decided its disbursement priorities. At its board meeting in Bali, Indonesia, earlier this year, GCF agreed to split its allocation: spend equally between mitigation and adaptation activities.

Two years ago, the end of the fast-start finance period — a collective $30 billion commitment that developed countries, according to their own reporting, exceeded by at least $3 billion — sparked some interest in striking a balance between these two activities. Meant to provide a balanced allocation between mitigation and adaptation, FSF galvanized significant support for the latter, which some say is a neglected component of the climate change discussion. But despite the funding increase for adaptation during the FSF period, much of the contributions were still earmarked for mitigation activities: adaptation finance accounted for just 12 percent of top contributors’ FSF, according to the World Resources Institute.

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About the author

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    Anna Patricia Valerio

    Anna Patricia Valerio is a Manila-based development analyst focusing on writing innovative, in-the-know content for senior executives in the international development community. Before joining Devex, Patricia wrote and edited business, technology and health stories for BusinessWorld, a Manila-based business newspaper.