UN Environment Programme Publishes Adaptation Gap Report 2023
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released the Adaptation Gap Report 2023, which assesses the progress and challenges of climate adaptation, loss and damage in developing countries. The report warns that current climate action is insufficient to meet Paris Agreement 2015 goals, and residual climate risks will persist even if the goals are reached. While most countries have established national adaptation plans, 15% of countries still lack one. The report estimates that adaptation costs and needs for developing countries are 10-18 times as great as current international public adaptation finance flows, which have declined since 2020. The report identifies seven ways to bridge the gap, including domestic and private finance, remittances, and reform of the global financial architecture. Additionally, the report explores the concept and categories of loss and damage from climate change, which arise when adaptation fails to avert climate impacts. It analyses the integration of loss and damage in national plans and documents, as well as the financial needs and sources for addressing it. The report also identifies seven ways to close the gap, including increasing domestic expenditure and private sector expenditure, and reforming the global financial architecture.
The latest European Environment Agency Briefing, finds that heatwaves, droughts, other extreme weather events increasingly influencing adaptation policies. The EEA briefing ‘Is Europe on track towards climate resilience? Status of reported national adaptation actions in 2023,’ presents the current state of national adaptation policies. It looks at recent developments and lessons learned over the past two years. Heatwaves, droughts, floods and increasing wildfires were the top extreme weather events reported by national authorities. Many countries also reported that they expected an increase of frequency and intensity of these events. The calls for increasing and scaling up adaptation coincide with Guardian reports of the climate crisis is costing $16m an hour in extreme weather damage, based on new published research estimates.
Collectively there is a growing understanding that adaptation efforts must increase in pace to match the scale of increasing disaster loss and damages. The insurance industry is one such sector with growing ambitions to prepare for the increasing effects and impacts of climate change, with plans to raise a new infrastructure fund to deliver resilient and sustainable infrastructure in emerging and developing economies.