February 6, 2011

Spending Adaptation Money Wisely

by Samuel Fankhauser and Ian Burton

- The discussions about adaptation finance have mostly been about process: how money should be raised and how adaptation spending should be governed and monitored. This paper seeks to move the focus of the debate back towards the substance of adaptation by asking what "good adaptation" in developing countries would look like. We argue that the best use of funds in the short term may be for "soft", or less tangible developmental activities that increase adaptive capacity. Building a minimum level of adaptive capacity everywhere is central to efficient, effective and equitable adaptation and yields immediate benefits irrespective of future climate regimes.

Fankhauser, S. and I. Burton (2010). "Spending Adaptation Money Wisely." Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Paper No. 37, Dec 2010.