“Too little, too slow”

Opening the ‘adaptation day’ at COP27, Henry Neufeldt, Head of Section, Impact Assessment and Adaptation Analysis at United Nations Environment Programme – Copenhagen Climate Centre shared key findings from the recently published Adaptation Gap Report at the Nordic pavilion.

The report calls for countries to step up funding and implementation of adaptation actions. Right now, the flow of international adaptation financing to developing countries is five to ten times lower than what is estimated to be needed, and the gap is only widening. This trend is harmful for several reasons.

 “There’s a correlation between investment and adaptation results,” Henry explains. “There’s clearly maladaptation and poor adaptation practice, and this needs to improve. However, with the investment of more money and improvements to adaptation practices as we’ve outlined, there would be greater likelihood of adaptation progress.”

Poor reporting

Current adaptation practices are woefully inadequate and clearly need to improve, as does the reporting of adaptation measures. Out of a dataset of nearly 22,000 entries, only 40% of financial investments directly address climate risk reduction. “The number could be higher,” Henry says, adding: “A lot of money is being spent on measures where we cannot say how it is going to affect climate risk reduction. The reporting is simply too poor to say anything.”

It’s not all bad news though. The report also looks at the benefits of prioritising measures that both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt, such as through nature-based solutions.

“I’m convinced that if you plan your adaptation interventions properly, they will reduce climate risks and can be a good investment. It’s much cheaper to invest in adaptation than to pay for the losses and damages afterwards. That much is clear.”

About the Adaptation Gap Report

The Adaptation Gap Report (AGR) is an annual UNEP flagship publication. The primary objective of the report is to inform the negotiators of the UNFCCC Member States, and the broader UNFCCC constituency, about the status and trends within climate adaptation at the global and regional level. The Adaptation Gap Report provides scientific assessments of global progress in adaptation planning, finance, and implementation in relation to what is perceived to be needed in order to address growing climate risks.

Join us on 16 November

On 16 November the Nordic pavilion at COP27 will host the event: “Co-existence with nature – Nature-based solutions for climate and biodiversity crises”. Join us as Leonard Sandin from NINA, Jamie Rusby from VELUX, Rachel Asante from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and Marte Rusten from DNV Group discuss how nature-based solutions can protect biodiversity and help us decarbonize. The opening remarks will be made by the Faroese Minister of Environment, Industry and Trade, Magnus Rasmussen.

In 2020, the Nordic Council of Ministers allocated DKK 26 million to a four-year programme for nature-based solutions to strengthen the knowledge base on nature-based solutions in the Nordic Region in order to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect and improve biodiversity.

Learn more about the programme ‘Naturebased Solutions‘. 

About “Nature-based solutions”

There’s clearly maladaptation and poor adaptation practice, and this needs to improve

Henry Neufeldt