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Spending adaptation money wisely

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  • Samuel Fankhauser
  • Ian Burton
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    Abstract

    The discussions about adaptation finance have mostly been about process: how money should be raised and how adaptation spending should be governed and monitored. This paper seeks to move the focus of the debate back towards the substance of adaptation by asking what “good adaptation” in developing countries would look like. We argue that the best use of funds in the short term may be for “soft”, or less tangible developmental activities that increase adaptive capacity. Building a minimum level of adaptive capacity everywhere is central to efficient, effective and equitable adaptation and yields immediate benefits irrespective of future climate regimes. We discuss a number of operational challenges in delivering this kind of adaptation, including a preoccupation with additionality – which makes the integration of adaptation and development harder – and a preference for “concrete” and more readily visible adaptation projects. We leave open the question of whether and how the adaptation regime that is emerging from the Cancun Agreements will be able to deliver wise adaptation decisions, but our analysis recognizes that further institutional development is required.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in its series Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers with number 37.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp37

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    Cited by:
    1. I. Hofmeijer & J. Ford & L. Berrang-Ford & C. Zavaleta & C. Carcamo & E. Llanos & C. Carhuaz & V. Edge & S. Lwasa & D. Namanya, 2013. "Community vulnerability to the health effects of climate change among indigenous populations in the Peruvian Amazon: a case study from Panaillo and Nuevo Progreso," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 18(7), pages 957-978, October.
    2. Susannah Fisher & Swenja Surminski, 2012. "The roles of public and private actors in the governance of adaptation: the case of agricultural insurance in India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 46400, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Martin Stadelmann & Åsa Persson & Izabela Ratajczak-Juszko & Axel Michaelowa, 2014. "Equity and cost-effectiveness of multilateral adaptation finance: are they friends or foes?," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 101-120, May.
    4. Susannah Fisher & Swenja Surminski, 2012. "The roles of public and private actors in the governance of adaptation: the case of agricultural insurance in India," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 89, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    5. Fankhauser, Sam & Soare, Raluca, 2012. "Strategic adaptation to climate change in Europe," EIB Working Papers 2012/01, European Investment Bank (EIB).

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