Studies indicate that US$16 billion invested in agriculture per year would prevent about 78 million people from starving or chronic hunger because of climate change impacts.
Climate extremes are already causing significant loss and damage, and this trend will continue despite even the most effective adaptation and well before anticipated limits to adaptation have been reached. There is also general agreement that losses and damages can be categorized as economic or non-economic.
Economic losses and damages (ELD) include impacts that can be assigned a monetary value, such as damages
to infrastructure or loss of earnings or productivity. Noneconomic losses and damages (NELD) encompass a wide spectrum of impacts that are not easily assigned a monetary value, such as loss of life, health or mobility; loss of territory, cultural heritage, or Indigenous or local knowledge; loss of biodiversity and so on.
Actions to address loss and damage include disaster risk management, assessment of losses and damages,
capacity-building, early warning systems, insurance, compensation, social protection measures, support for
rebuilding livelihoods and for communities to preserve their culture, humanitarian response and forecast-based finance, reflecting the grey zone that exists in practice between adaptation and loss and damage.
Six major conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Synthesis Report (2023):
- About 40 per cent of humankind are already living in highly climate-vulnerable areas (Birkmann et al. 2022).
- The world is on track to experience dangerous climate risk levels before the end of the twenty-first century, even under a warming scenario of 1.5°C or 2°C in global mean temperature (O’Neill et al. 2022)
- Some socioecological systems are already experiencing adaptation limits (Thomas et al. 2021)
- Not all adaptation options are long-term adaptation solutions (Schipper 2020; Eriksen et al. 2021; Reckien et al. 2023).
- There is increasing concern that the solution space (i.e. the range of options available for adaptation) is shrinking with warming (Haasnoot, Lawrence and Magnan 2021). Some options, such as coral reef restoration, could become obsolete in the coming decades due to accelerating ocean warming and acidification.
- Although notable adaptation progress has been made (Berrang-Ford et al. 2021; UNEP 2022), additional adaptation gaps remain when taking into account the full complexity of climate risks
The majority of new adaptation projects were in the agriculture sector or aimed at flood and storm protection. On average, the combined grant value of new adaptation projects from the AF, GCF and the GEF has increased by around US$36 million per year (excluding co-financing), which represents a 25 per cent annual increase over the entire period 2007–2022. The drop in funding volume and number of new adaptation projects from 2018 to 2019 was largely due to the Trump administration significantly reducing the United States of America’s international climate finance.
Almost one third of actions reported by countries in their adaptation communications refer to multiple or
cross-cutting sectors. Among those targeting one main sector, agriculture and livestock as well as
biodiversity and ecosystems were most prevalent, each accounting for slightly more than 19 per cent of the reported actions.
The costs of adaptation from this new assessment are estimated to be in a plausible central range of US$215–387 billion/year for developing countries this decade. This is a significant increase from the previous AGR estimate. This is based on two evidence lines:
● A modelling analysis estimates that the costs of adaptation could be US$215 billion/year this decade, with a range of US$130–415 billion/year. These costs are projected to rise over future decades towards 2050.
● An analysis of the needs communicated in nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and national adaptation plans (NAPs), with extrapolation to all developing countries, estimates adaptation finance needs at US$387 billion/year for 2021 to 2030, with a range of US$101 billion to US$975 billion/year.
An analysis of international public adaptation finance flows to developing countries estimates these
at US$21 billion in 2021 – a 15 per cent decrease compared to 2020. Check page 34 of the full report to see the estimated adaptation cost per theme.