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Financing Adaptation

Why the UN's Bali Climate Conference must mandate the search for new funds

Oxfam estimates that adapting to climate change in developing countries is likely to cost at least $50 billion each year, and far more if global greenhouse gas emissions are not cut fast enough. Yet international funding efforts to date have been woeful. In the year that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its direst warnings to date of the impacts of climate change on vulnerable developing countries, the rich and high-polluting countries increased their contribution to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) for urgent adaptation needs by a mere $43 million.

It is now time for the dissonance between the science and the policy rhetoric to end. But on the evidence to date, rich countries are very unlikely to provide the scale of adaptation finance needed on a voluntary basis. Outcomes at the Bali UN Climate Conference must, therefore, include a commitment to identify and establish new finance-raising mechanisms, so that vulnerable communities in developing countries will have the resources and support they need to protect themselves from the worst impacts of climate change.

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