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Spending adaptation money wisely

Fankhauser, Samuel and Burton, Ian (2011) Spending adaptation money wisely. Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment working paper, 37. Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London, UK.

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Identification Number: 37


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. We discuss a number of operational challenges in delivering this kind of adaptation, including a preoccupation with additionality – which makes the integration of adaptation and development harder – and a preference for “concrete” and more readily visible adaptation projects. We leave open the question of whether and how the adaptation regime that is emerging from the Cancun Agreements will be able to deliver wise adaptation decisions, but our analysis recognizes that further institutional development is required.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 The Authors
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Research centres and groups > Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 19 May 2011 13:25
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2011 14:09

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