Floods in Bangladesh (credit: dfid.gov.uk)

Some commentators think that one of the few things we me see progress on at Poznan is the “Adaptation Fund” (AF). Unlike the LDCF (see my previous post), it was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries. It is operated by the Adaptation Fund Board, but the GEF runs the secretariat and the World Bank is the trustee.

Current arrangements suggest it will mainly be financed with a share of proceeds from CDM project activities (2% of CERs). This means its replenishment is heavily dependent on the success of the CDM.

The UNFCCC reckons that this process could yield anything between $250 million and $3 billion a year by 2030. However, this is a fraction of most assessments of developing countries needs for adaptation financing. Oxfam, for example, has estimated this to be $50 billion a year by 2015, and the UN has estimated $86 billion. WWF estimates that there is less than $1 billion currently earmarked for adaptation. Whichever way you look at it, there is a big financing gap.

Therefore, the AF clearly needs sources of financing above and beyond the CDM. One source is pledges from rich countries, but so far these have amounted to less than $300 million. Aid agencies and many developing countries have been making the case for more serious pledges by rich countries, given their historical contribution to carbon emissions. For example, China and India have suggested the rich countries commit to donating a percentage of GDP for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. Whatever the figure agreed on, this is a sensible and equitable suggestion.

To make up some more of the shortfall, Oxfam has suggested that instead of 2% of CERs going to the AF, this figure should rather be 7.5%. Furthermore, as Simon noted the other day, Yvo de Boer has suggested another source of financing for the AF could be Joint Implementation (JI) projects, potentially adding an extra billion dollars or so by 2020.

Sorting out the AF is a matter of urgency. The chair of its board announced yesterday
that the AF is even short of the cash needed to just keep it running. There are many suggestions on the table for financing adaptation, and a key outcome of Poznan should be some clarity on which ones are likely to be taken up in a post-Kyoto deal. This is crucial as it will allow more research to flesh out proposals before Copenhagen next year.

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