GCF: Adaptation planning vital in helping countries weather change
Songdo, 27 Apr 2018 A guide to NAPs and why GCF is supporting this UN process to spark catalytic climate action
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season across the Caribbean was one of the most destructive on record, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Extreme weather killed several hundred people, impacted the lives of millions, and will likely require years for the worst hit Caribbean islands to recover. The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, declared the island of Barbuda“barely habitable,” amid forecasts reconstruction could total hundreds of millions of dollars.
The damaging effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident. In addition to the immediately apparent devastation of hurricanes, climate effects also come in more slow-moving but equally destructive forms. Drought threatens billions of people living on farmland that is deteriorating and producing less food, according to a recent UN-backed report.
The effects on agriculture and people’s wellbeing are already evident today. Conflicts and climate disasters, particularly drought, drove the number of people facing crisis levels of hunger up by about 15 percent last year, another report warns. UN research released last year says global health risks related to climate change are already rising, while nearly all members of the C40 group of megacities addressing climate change report extreme weather events that are “off all the scale of previous experience.”
While the destructive impacts of climate change come in many manifestations, they do share one aspect – the resultant need to take preventative action. Recognising this, during the past few years, adaptation has become recognised as equally important as mitigation activities reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris Agreement, which entered into force in November 2016, enshrined this equally weighted approach to climate change. It recognises that even with efforts to keep global temperature rises well below 2 degrees Celsius, we already need to adapt to adverse climate impacts.
The equal priority of these two climate action goals is mirrored in GCF’s mandate to deliver a 50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation allocations in the financial support it provides developing countries. Also, reflecting the need to help those most in need of financial assistance, GCF ensures at least 50 percent of adaptation funding goes to particularly vulnerable countries, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and African States.