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Supporting Adaptation to Climate Change: What Role for Official Development Assistance?

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The formal financial mechanisms for managing adaptation to climate change under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are falling significantly short of meeting needs in the most vulnerable countries. Given the close relationship between development and adaptation, it is tempting to use existing channels of development assistance to fill this gap. However, it is imperative that development assistance is not seen as a substitute for specific adaptation finance. This article therefore attempts to distinguish between the two roles, and considers how development assistance might support and complement adaptation funding and action under the Convention, rather than competing with or substituting it.

Keywords: Adaptation; climate change; development; financial support; institutions

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Development Studies Institute, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE ( ) and International Institute of Environment and Development, London, respectively., Email:

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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