Today, the Adaptation Gap Report 2020 was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in cooperation with Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance. The yearly report focuses on exploring countries’ adaptation gaps, characterized as the difference between the actual level of adaptation to climate change and the level required to achieve the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The Adaptation Gap Reports focus on providing policy-relevant information to support efforts to close the gap. In the 2020 edition, Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre provides expertise on financing of adaptation.
Adaptation – reducing countries’ and communities’ vulnerability to climate change by increasing their ability to absorb impacts – is a growing challenge in the face of ongoing climate change. The Paris Agreement requires its signatories to implement adaptation measures through national plans, climate information systems, early warning, protective measures and investments in a green future. As temperatures rise and climate change impacts intensify, nations must urgently step up action to adapt to the new climate reality or face serious costs, damages and losses, the new report finds.
The UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020 finds that while nations have advanced in planning, huge gaps remain in finance for developing countries and bringing adaptation projects to the stage where they bring real protection against climate impacts such as droughts, floods and sea-level rise.
“The costs of adaptation are growing in the face of ongoing climate change,” said Dr Pieter Pauw, Senior Project Manager at Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and one of the authors. “New impetus is needed to address the increasing risks and to finance adaptation. Additional public finance and innovation and a sustainable financial system should help to reduce people’s and economies’ vulnerability to climate change.”
“The hard truth is that climate change is upon us,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. “Its impacts will intensify and hit vulnerable countries and communities the hardest – even if we meet the Paris Agreement goals of holding global warming this century to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.”
Download the UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020 here.
Dr Pieter Pauw is available for interview requests. Please contact Vera Klopprogge.