The allocation of adaptation funding

Providing additional finance for adaptation is a key element of the emerging international climate change framework.

This paper discusses how adaptation funding may be allocated among developing countries in a transparent, efficient and equitable way.

We propose an approach based on three criteria:

  • The climate change impact experienced in a country,
  • A country’s adaptive (or social) capacity;
  • And, its implementation capacity.

Rough indicators are proposed for each of these three dimensions.

Physical impact and adaptive capacity together determine a country’s vulnerability to climate change. It seems both efficient and fair that countries which are more vulnerable should have a stronger claim on adaptation resources.

The third dimension, implementation capacity, introduces a measure of adaptation effectiveness. It makes sense to focus adaptation finance on countries with the capacity to use these resources efficiently.

Rhona Barr, Samuel Fankhauser and Kirk Hamilton