Implementing adaptation action: making progress to deal with climate impacts

Today, the world has warmed more than 1°C since pre-industrial times. It is no longer enough to stop further climate change: adapting and building community and ecosystem resilience to safeguard lives and livelihoods is necessary

At COP26, adaptation was made a universal agenda with the establishment of the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GlaSS). Loss and Damage was also given more precedence than ever before, with the establishment of the Glasgow Dialogue to discuss funding arrangements to avert, minimise and address loss and damage. 

COP27 provides an opportunity to show those most affected by climate impacts that the international community is prepared to build solutions and prioritise action on adaptation. On Adaptation and Agriculture day, the UK and Partners delivered a number of events during which countries and organisations highlighted progress made on adaptation planning, locally-led adaptation, early warning, and action-oriented research. 

This follows announcements during the World Leaders Summit to triple the UK’s International Climate Finance to adaptation, commit £5 million funding to the Santiago Network to deliver technical assistance for loss and damage; and deliver funding to the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund as pledged at COP26. 

The UK is investing over £13 million new funding to support vulnerable countries to adapt to climate impacts, and towards efforts to avert, minimise and address loss and damage. These will build on the more than £500 million of new funding for adaptation announced at COP26. 

Adaptation planning 

Effective implementation of country priorities identified in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) helps to build resilience to climate impacts from local to national levels. 86 countries are now covered by Adaptation Communications (AdComms) or National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), with 65 published since the start of the UK’s incoming COP26 Presidency.

At COP27 we heard examples of developing countries’ NAP processes, including Eswatini, Liberia, St Lucia, Zimbabwe, with an emphasis on implementation of priorities, reporting progress and effective and inclusive planning. 

Accelerating adaptation action

Effective adaptation action requires cooperation across scales and sectors. Building on the UK and Egypt’s co-leadership of the Adaptation Action Coalition (AAC), this event focused on how countries can transition from adaptation planning to implementation. The AAC now has 39 country members working together to drive solutions through work-streams on locally-led adaptation (LLA), health, water, infrastructure and disaster-risk reduction.

The AAC’s sectoral workstreams are assisting countries to speed up and scale up implementation of national and local-level priorities outlined in National Adaptation Plans, NDCs and other relevant strategies. Sector-specific adaptation actions can be linked together to form a more cohesive approach that goes beyond project-based implementation.

The UK is also supporting the UN High Level Champions Race to Resilience, with £3m new funding, to catalyse a step-change in non-state actors’ ambition for climate resilience. The UK welcomes the collaboration between the COP27 Presidency and the Race to Resilience on the launch of the ‘Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda’ which outlines 30 adaptation outcomes to enhance resilience for 4 billion people living in the most climate vulnerable communities by 2030. 

Delivering at the frontline through locally-led adaptation

With over 100 endorsements to the Principles to LLA, locally-led adaptation is gaining increasing recognition around the world as an effective approach for ensuring that the most vulnerable people and communities are protected from the impacts of climate change. 

The UK highlighted renewed commitment to the Least Developed Countries Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR) and £45 million funding for the Asian Development Bank’s Community Resilience Partnership Program (CRPP), which was announced at COP26.

New country endorsements to the Principles for LLA include Uganda, Fiji, South Africa, Antigua & Barbuda, Norway, Finland, with many organisations also joining. The task now is to translate these principles into tangible action and scale up support for LLA across different levels of governance. 

Private sector mobilisation and climate resilient investment 

The Adaptation & Resilience Investors Collaborative (ARIC) is a partnership of development finance institutions working to address systemic barriers to mobilising private investment in adaptation and resilience. ARIC announced today that UNEP-FI will act as the Secretariat of the initiative, enabling ARIC to further implement its action plan. 

The Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI) is a private-sector led initiative that is developing and piloting tools to direct investment where it is most needed in national infrastructure networks, and to help improve the integration of physical climate risks into investment appraisal. CCRI has over 129 members with over $27 trillion in assets under management. Today the UK announced a further £1.3m of funding for CCRI, in addition to the £1m we have already provided. 

Today’s CCRI session heard from governments, leading institutions and individuals representing investors in key industries and sectors in a discussion about the transformational potential of practical solutions, such as the Jamaica Strategic Risk Assessment Tool (J-SRAT) and the Physical Climate Risk Assessment Methodology (PCRAM), at both national and investment levels, redefining the narrative and practice around private investment in climate resilient investment.

Action-oriented research

Action-oriented research is key in informing effective adaptation to reduce the risks from climate change. The Adaptation Research Alliance now has 157 members – bringing together funders, academics, civil society, International Organisations – from 52 countries. 

Progress since COP26 includes the launch of a ‘Co-creation Space’ to scope new programmes, and a second round of grassroots action–research grants for local organisations in the global South. Announcements at COP27 included:

  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Agriculture Development programme is working with the ARA Secretariat to develop a co-creation process focused on smallholder agriculture.
  • UK Research and Innovation – Natural Environment Research Council (UKRI-NERC), in partnership with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the ARA, are scoping the design of a potential new international collaborative research programme focused on ‘nature-based solutions for equitable climate resilience’. 
  • The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Least Developed Universities Climate Change Consortium (LUCCC) are working with ARA to enable LDC Universities to support national adaptation plans, in areas such as assessments, implementation and reporting.
  • The ARA and members will collaborate to catalyse a comprehensive co-creation process aimed at new programme development on urban resilience in partnership with initiatives such as The Roof Over Our Heads initiative (ROOH). ROOH is aimed at delivering sustainable habitats for low-income urban residents in the global South.
  • The ARA launched the second round of Grassroots Action Research Micro-grants, a series of grants each totalling GBP £15,000 that support locally led adaptation by targeting action and research entities collaborating to unearth knowledge, ideas, and opportunities for climate change adaptation in the Global South.

Anticipating crises and taking Early Action

Early and anticipatory action helps to protect people from the impacts of extreme weather events. We need to see ideas for delivering and scaling-up more cohesive action between development, humanitarian, and climate leaders to reduce the disaster and climate risk of vulnerable populations. 

At COP27, the UK focussed on catalysing more cohesive action between development, humanitarian, and climate leaders by discussing the co-benefits of smarter investments in anticipatory action, resilience and adaptation, and explored ways to crowd-in sufficient and appropriate financial flows, including climate finance, to reduce the disaster and climate risk of vulnerable populations living in fragile and conflict affected settings.

The UK has committed £4m for Climate Risk Management including the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) to bring together the climate, humanitarian, and development communities to increase action to prevent or reduce the impacts of climate change, making a billion people safer from disasters.


UK COP26 Presidency reinforces urgent need to transform financial system to deliver Glasgow Climate Pact ambition

UK COP26 President Alok Sharma will today chair a ‘COP26 One Year On’ panel event, to mark Finance Day at the COP27 UN Climate Change Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

This panel event will explore the roles of public and private finance in the climate transition and discuss how actions through international partnership can catalyse greater outcomes. In particular it will highlight that the whole international system needs to go further and faster, making the case that every institution should be adapting to making combating the climate crisis a fundamental part of their overall purpose.

At COP26, almost 200 countries came together to agree to the Glasgow Climate Pact, keeping alive the ambition of limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees. Governments, institutions and investors committed to mobilise more finance than ever before, setting out a vision for turning the billions of climate finance into trillions in low carbon, resilient investment and support for those on the frontline of climate change.

Today, we find ourselves in a world facing multiple global crises, threatening economic, food and security for many. Despite these challenging conditions, progress is being made.

The global financial system’s direction of travel remains clear. Economic opportunity is driving climate action. Wind and solar continue to become cheaper than coal and gas while the economic risk of inaction becomes starker.

Faced with these challenges, developed countries are showing their continued commitment to support developing countries, setting out more detail in the $100bn Delivery Plan Progress Report, including on doubling adaptation finance by 2025. The UK has underlined its commitment to providing £11.6bn in climate finance, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announcing that the UK will triple support for adaptation to £1.5bn in 2025. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also announced a significant increase in the UK’s financial support to African countries on the frontline of climate change, confirming that the UK will provide £200 million to the Africa Development Bank (AfDB’s) Climate Action Window (CAW).

We are supporting new approaches to help vulnerable countries access the finance they need as demonstrated through the Task Force on Access to Climate Finance’s first Annual Report. We are pursuing financing solutions to support long term preparedness for countries’ challenges such as, climate loss and damage, including through innovative new Climate-Resilient Debt Clauses (CRDCs); supporting the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust; and through the Global Shield. Overall these innovations represent tangible progress increasing the ability of countries to retain their fiscal space and be protected when faced with climate disasters. This is the beginning of the effort to give countries the tools they need to ensure their economies are climate resilient.

We have brought together international support behind country platforms, like the $8.5bn South African Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) where G7 partners are mobilising $8.5 billion. Hopefully soon more will be announced including in Viet Nam and Indonesia. These are demonstrating a model for country owned, coordinated, catalytic international support to help accelerate just transitions away from fossil fuels and mobilise investment at scale. The UK has recently announced $5.75m for Egypt’s Nexus of Food, Water and Energy platform.

The UK used the Presidency to drive innovations across the development system to scale private finance, including to help countries issue green and sustainability bonds and guarantees to share risk. The UK’s Room to Run guarantee became operational earlier this month, and will unlock $2bn of climate finance for African countries in a partnership between UK, the African Development Bank, and City of London insurers.

The UK used its Presidency to influence across the international development finance system to finance and mobilise investment in climate and nature with most implementing. In Glasgow MDBs launched a seminal Joint Nature Statement and this week they announced a collective update at the Forests and Climate Leaders Summit.

Momentum is gathering behind efforts to build an increasingly sophisticated, better coordinated and more innovative financial system. The High-level Expert Group on Climate Finance (Songwe-Stern), endorsed by the UK and Egyptian COP presidencies, have published their recommendations; with Rwanda we convened the second Climate and Development Ministerial, where three transformational shifts were proposed. While COP26 President Alok Sharma joined calls from others, such as Prime Minister Mia Mottley, for deeper reform of the financial system, including through implementing the recommendations of the G20 Capital Adequacy Framework (CAF) Review.

To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, these actions to enhance international support must go hand in hand with efforts to transform the financial system to make it fit for purpose for a net zero, resilient world. That is why the UK is committed to becoming the world’s first net zero aligned financial centre, and the Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) Disclosure Framework and Implementation Guidance to be launched today, are an important step towards giving businesses and financial institutions the tools and certainty they need to meet their targets.

The world must harness this momentum to accelerate the transformational systemic shifts needed to ensure finance flows towards addressing global development, climate and nature needs. The threat of climate change is turning ever more acute, impacting every country across the world. The benefits of action are only matched by the terrifying cost of inaction.