The intensity and frequency of extreme weather events and chronic climate-related changes are increasing, globally. With these changes, there is a pressing and clear need for communities worldwide to invest in adapting to climate change. According to the UN Environment Programme, in developing countries alone, adapting to climate change will require USD 280 billion to USD 500 billion per year by 2050 (UNEP 2016). The 46 countries that included adaptation cost estimates in their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) estimated a total, collective cost for these measures of USD 783 billion by 2030 (World Bank).

Since 2012, Climate Policy Initiative has sought to comprehensively track domestic and international investment in activities that address and respond to climate change through the Global Landscape of Climate Finance (the Landscape). In our most recent version of the Landscape, we tracked approximately USD 22 billion annually in 2015 and 2016 of public adaptation and resilience finance from government and bilateral aid agencies, climate funds, and bilateral, multilateral, and national finance institutions.

High quality adaptation finance tracking can identify gaps and barriers in financing adaptation and resilience solutions globally, drive leaders and stakeholders to invest in or help increase finance flows, hold public and private actors accountable, and support government agencies in developing policy guidance.

This paper was originally submitted to the Global Commission on Adaptation to inform the Commission’s September 2019 flagship report: “Act Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Resilience.” It outlines the current state of global finance for climate adaptation by sources and intermediaries, sectors, financial instruments deployed, and region of destination. It also presents the significant data and theoretical gaps that exist in adaptation finance reporting and includes a brief overview of potential new data sources and recommendations to improve adaptation finance tracking going forward.


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