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Mind the adaptation gap

Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Adaptation in these countries will be challenging, costly, and must take place in addition to ongoing development efforts. There is still a great deal of assessment, trial and learning to be done with regard to adaptation. Investment in technology, communications, infrastructures, institutions, trainings, outreach and many other approaches will all be required. These efforts will require significant financial support from richer countries.

In this report, ActionAid takes the most credible – yet still conservative – existing estimates of the total cost of adaptation for developing countries and divides up that cost into “fair shares” for individual contributor (developed) countries, taking account of considerations such as their historical emissions of greenhouse gases and their economic capacity. We find that financial commitments to date made by rich countries fall far short of these fair shares, with serious implications for vulnerable countries.