Rich nations hugely exaggerating climate adaptation finance

21st January 2021

Web drought istock 157313406 0

Related Topics

Related tags

  • sea ice loss ,
  • Adaptation ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Finance ,
  • Global


Stewart Gill

Rich nations and institutions have been routinely over-reporting their climate adaption funding for developing countries, leaving a shortfall of around $20bn (£14.6bn), research by CARE International has found.

After assessing 112 projects, representing 13% of total global adaptation finance between 2013-17, the researchers found over-reporting of $2.6bn, which if applied to the remaining projects, would result in more than $20bn.

CARE International said that large amounts of climate finance for certain projects bear no relation to adaptation, and that donors exaggerate the adaptation component of their projects.

“Not only have rich nations let countries in the Global South down by failing to deliver enough adaptation finance, but they have tried to give the impression that they are providing more than they do,” said John Nordbo, senior advocacy adviser for climate at CARE Denmark.

“It is truly embarrassing. This injustice must be corrected, and a clear plan must be presented to show how they intend to live up to their commitments with real money – and no reporting tricks.”

The latest findings are published in a new report, which claims that Japan has over-reported its climate adaptation finance by more than $1.3bn.

The World Bank is said to have over-reported by $832m in total, including $328m on an earthquake housing reconstruction project in Nepal, while France was found to have exaggerated by a total of $104m.

Worryingly, 47% of adaptation projects in six countries studied did not mainstream gender equality, despite this being a requirement of adaptation action under the Paris Agreement.

Of further concern is that the largest financial provisions often fail to adequately consider the poorest in society. This is particularly true of infrastructure and market-based projects, which are frequently provided with finance in the form of loans.

For projects assessed in Ghana and Ethiopia – both at high risk of debt distress – 28% and 50% of total finance contributions respectively were provided as loans.

“Vulnerable people and countries receive only a fraction of the support promised in Paris,” said Sofia Sprechmann, secretary general of CARE International. “The Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 is an opportunity to remedy climate injustice and a chance to commit to adaptation that is gender transformative.”

Image credit: iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

UK off track for net zero by 2030, CCC warns

Only a third of the emission reductions required for the UK to achieve net zero by 2030 are covered by credible plans, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has warned today.

18th July 2024

Read more

Almost three-fifths of UK environmental professionals feel there is a green skills gap across the country’s workforce, or that there will be, a new survey has uncovered.

4th July 2024

Read more

Climate hazards such as flooding, droughts and extreme heat are threatening eight in 10 of the world’s cities, new research from CDP has uncovered.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Nine in 10 UK adults do not fully trust brands to accurately portray their climate commitments or follow the science all the time, a new survey has uncovered.

19th June 2024

Read more

Just one in 20 workers aged 27 and under have the skills needed to help drive the net-zero transition, compared with one in eight of the workforce as a whole, new LinkedIn data suggests.

18th June 2024

Read more

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close