UN-HABITAT Calls for a Focus on Urban Areas in Adaptation Finance

UN-HABITAT - Cities and Climate Change Initiative - Policy Note 122 November 2011: The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), through its Cities and Climate Change Initiative, has issued a policy note on adaptation finance in urban areas. The policy note indicates that, up to now, adaptation finance has largely overlooked urban areas. 

The Policy Note, titled "Adaptation Finance: Are Cities in Developing Countries Slipping Through the Cracks?" underlines that in order to have a meaningful impact on adaptation initiatives, much of the investment required to adapt to climate change will have to take place in urban areas as they will bear the brunt of over 80% of total estimated adaptation costs.

A review of National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) confirms that relatively few of the adaptation projects undertaken globally have had an urban focus. According to experts, this can be explained by the fact that the current adaptation finance architecture privileges the national level and the ability of local governments to leverage adaptation funding is largely affected by their interaction with national governments.

In order to address the gaps, the policy note recommends that the Green Climate Fund pro­vide cities with access to a portion of the adaptation resources, facilitated through their national governments; and other adaptation funds should con­sider projects that benefit the vulnerable urban poor to be strategic priorities, and permit and even encourage local governments to apply directly for such funds, while leveraging other financing sources. [Publication: Adaptation Finance: Are Cities in Developing Countries Slipping Through the Cracks?, UN-HABITAT Cities and Climate Change, Policy Note #1]