Adaptation to Climate Change: Scarce resources require effective Climate Policy Instruments


Global greenhouse gas emissions are inexorably creeping upwards despite two decades of climate policy. In particular poor countries start suffering from an ‘adaptation deficit’ to current climate variability. For the year 2030, the UNFCCC estimates annual global adaptation costs at 49 to 171 billion US$, with 27 to 66 billion accruing in developing countries.
While there has been a lack of progress at the UNFCCC to agree to meaningful mitigation objectives, adaptation has increasingly become relevant in climate negotiations. By today, three multilateral funds are operational under the UNFCCC. Each earmarked resource for adaptation contains around 200-600 million US$ of funding: the Adaptation Fund (AF), the Least Developed Countries Funds (LDCF) and the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF). Furthermore new institutions such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and bilateral frameworks are currently under development.
Most financing institutions face a number of fundamental questions related to adaptation funding and implementation of adaptation activities, such as:

  • What is a fair and appropriate way of allocating adaptation funds – to regions, countries and types of adaptation activities?
  • How to incentivize autonomous adaptation and integrated long-term planning?
  • How to monitor and evaluate the performance of adaptation activities?
  • How to incentivize effective implementation of planned activities and efficient use of resources; and
  • How to design a fair and effective system of performance based payments?

In the mid- to long-term, there will be an increased need for policy instruments that trigger effective and efficient autonomous adaptation, both in industrialized and developing countries. However such instruments have been rarely elaborated and applied in the adaptation context, which makes a careful assessment essential.

Perspectives services

Building upon its vast experience with mitigation policies, carbon market mechanisms and capacity building, Perspectives offers a wide range of services related to adaption to climate change. These include inter alia:

  • Effectiveness of adaptation funding:
    • Elaboration and application of concepts for determining the adaptive effect of adaptation projects/programmes
    • Monitoring and evaluation of adaptation activities applying for funding
  • Development of approaches for results-based payment mechanisms
  • Economic instruments to promote autonomous adaptation and risk sharing
  • Institutional capacity building and support for National Implementing Entities (NIEs) and other adaptation agencies in vulnerable countries
  • Comprehensive national adaptation strategies and definition of domestic adaptation demand and priorities
  • Exploring synergies between mitigation and adaptation in various contexts, such as food security
  • Conceptualization of market mechanisms for adaptation. For details see:




For Perspectives' references on Adaptation to Climate Change, click  Öffnet internen Link im aktuellen Fensterhere.