Additional finance for adaptation is an important element of the emerging international climate change framework. This paper discusses how adaptation funding may be allocated among developing countries in a transparent, efficient and equitable way. We propose an approach based on three criteria: the climate change impacts experienced in a country, a country’s adaptive capacity and its implementation capacity. Physical impact and adaptive capacity together determine a country’s vulnerability to climate change. It seems both efficient and fair that countries which are more vulnerable should have a stronger claim on adaptation resources. The third dimension, implementation capacity, introduces a measure of adaptation effectiveness. Rough indicators are proposed for each of the three dimensions. The results are indicative only, but they suggest a strong focus of initial adaptation funding on Africa. African countries are highly vulnerability in part because of the severity of expected impacts, but also because of their very low adaptive capacity. However, their implementation capacity is also limited, suggesting a need for technical assistance in project implementation.


Barr, R., Fankhauser, S., and Hamilton, K. July 2010. Adaptation investments: a resource allocation framework. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, v.15, pp.843-858.

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