COP27 must outline clear roadmap for financing climate adaptation – UN Secretary General

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When the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP27, gets underway next week, global leaders must once and for all, outline a clear roadmap for providing vulnerable nations with vital financing for climate adaptation.

This recent call was issued by António Guterres, Secretary-General (SG) of the United Nations. His declaration followed this week’s release of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Adaptation Gap Report.

Guterres said the report makes clear that the world is failing to protect people from the here-and-now impacts of the climate crisis. The Secretary General said those on the front lines of the climate crisis are at the back of the line for support.

If commitments are not met, he said adaptation needs in the developing world are set to skyrocket to as much as US$340 billion a year by 2030.

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At the upcoming UN Climate Conference, Guterres said the adaptation gap must be addressed in four critical ways.

He said first, it must dramatically increase the quantity and quality of financing for adaptation needs. Guterres said last year developed countries agreed to double support for adaptation to US$40 billion a year by 2025.

At COP27, he said they must present a credible roadmap with clear milestones on how this will be delivered—preferably as grants, not loans.

He said too that they must also use their influence as government shareholders of multilateral development banks to prioritise adaptation, resilience and vulnerability.

Second, Guterres said the world urgently needs a new business model for turning adaptation priorities into investable projects. He said there is a mismatch between what governments propose and what financiers consider as investable.  “The investment pipeline is blocked; we must unblock it now,” the SG expressed.

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Thirdly, Guterres said there needs to be far better climate risk data and information. He explained in this regard that vulnerable countries and communities need access to localised data and information on climate risks to inform adaptation actions. He said this will save lives and protect livelihoods.

Finally, Guterres said, “We must make sure that we deliver on my call for universal early warning systems within five years…”

In closing, Guterres said COP27 must provide a clear and time-bound roadmap on closing the finance gap for addressing loss and damage.

“This will be a central litmus test for success at COP27… The world must step up and protect people and communities from the immediate and ever-growing risks of the climate emergency. We have no time to lose,” the SG concluded.


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