Adaptation: Accelerating action towards a climate resilient future

by Yannick Glemarec, Green Climate Fund Executive Director

At Korea Global Adaptation Week in Songdo, April 2019, the Green Climate Fund launched a new working paper, Adaptation: Accelerating Action Towards a Climate Resilient Future, to contribute to adaptation knowledge from the perspective of climate financing.

The working paper provides an overview of adaptation and resilience challenges, as well as the distinction between them. It discusses the avenues that GCF is developing to tackle them, together with many countries and stakeholders, including the private sector.

Download the full report.


 

Climate change is an existential threat to all people. The challenges it poses are immediate and urgent. Evidence of ever-higher levels of climate risks are mounting, as global temperatures increase, sea levels rise and glaciers melt. More and more people worldwide are feeling the impacts of water scarcity, heat waves and wildfires, and, in some instances, catastrophic storms and floods. Vulnerable groups in developing countries, such as coastal communities, smallholder farmers and the urban poor, are particularly affected by rising temperatures and climate-related disasters.

We have not yet reached a turning point in greenhouse gas emissions, and there is a clear need for climate action now on both mitigation and adaptation. Each new climate record broken, each new disaster reinforces the urgency for faster and better adaptation and resilience-building.

The Green Climate Fund plays a unique role in turning countries’ climate ambitions into climate action and pursuing implementation of the goals set under the Paris Agreement. GCF is a true partnership between developing and developed countries, expressed through 50/50 representation in its governance. One critical dimension of this partnership is the Board’s commitment to investing 50 per cent of funding in adaptation action, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable countries, including Small Island Developing States, least-developed countries and African states. GCF has a strong focus on helping developing countries realize the paradigm shifts required to transform development pathways in response to climate challenges, through institutional, financial, socioeconomic and environmental investments.

Credit: Green Climate Fund

In its initial four years of funding operations, and with a rapid scale-up of capabilities, GCF has reached 97 countries with climate project funding and over 120 countries with climate readiness support. Investments of USD 5 billion from GCF’s resources have so far leveraged a total of USD 17.7 billion in climate investments as a result of GCF action. GCF support to climate readiness and direct access to climate financing for countries is also changing the institutional landscape, helping to integrate climate science and forecasting into economic planning and investment decision making across the developing world. In 2019, GCF is gearing up for its first replenishment. An ambitious replenishment will be key to expanding the fund’s catalytic investments in country-driven transformation.

This publication has been developed as a contribution to adaptation knowledge, from the perspective of climate financing. It provides an overview of adaptation and resilience challenges, as well as the distinction between them, and discusses the avenues that GCF is developing to tackle them, together with many countries and stakeholders, including the private sector. Ultimately, we hope this will inform the design and scaling up of more successful adaptation investments. Over the next year, GCF will be launching a series of detailed sectoral guides in its results areas, which will include each of the areas covered here: health and well-being, climate information services and early warning systems, agriculture and food security, forests and land use, ecosystems and ecosystem services, water security, climate-resilient infrastructure and resilient cities.

Through focused investments in these interlinked sectors, based upon national adaptation policies and plans, we hope GCF can catalyze a paradigm shift in the way countries respond to their citizens’ adaptation needs and build their resilience by working with a large range of partners and stakeholders. GCF has a strong commitment to supporting countries and entities in the transformational changes that are needed now, to adapt, survive and thrive in a fast-changing world.


Any opinions stated in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the NAP Global Network, its funders, or Network participants.