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It’s Time to Scale Up Finance for Climate Resilience & Adaptation


In a few short months, representatives from governments around the world will gather in Paris for international climate negotiations. Expectations are running high for this meeting, and one of the key elements that will be discussed is finance—with good reason.

“To truly achieve sustainability and help the world’s poorest, private investment in adaptation needs to expand.”

The amount of money flowing to efforts to address climate change is far short of what’s estimated to be needed. Nowhere is this truer than financing climate adaptation where investment has been fragmented, small-scale, and conspicuously lacking in private-sector dollars. According to the Climate Policy Initiative’s “Global Landscape of Climate Finance (2014),” total finance flows for adaptation amount to $25 billion per year. This is dwarfed by the expected costs to developing countries of dealing with the effects of climate change in a 2°C warmer world, which range between $70 billion to $100 billion a year—and much more in a 4°C warming scenario. Of the finance that is currently flowing for adaptation, an estimated 96 percent of these investments were funded by development finance institutions and governments.

Adaptation Finance Flows: Breakdown by Investor Type

Adaptation finance flows*Source: Climate Policy Initiative’s Global Landscape of Climate Finance (2014)

These figures point to the fact that if we are to avoid the devastating disruptions of climate change threatening our global well-being and hard-earned development gains—particularly among the poorest and most vulnerable—we need to mobilize private sector capital for adaptation at scale, and quickly.

To truly achieve sustainability and help the world’s poorest, private investment in adaptation needs to expand.

This is why The Rockefeller Foundation’s Zero Gap portfolio is supporting The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, a public-private initiative that identifies, develops, and launches innovative solutions to these challenges to identify new financing solutions for climate adaptation and resilience.

In the last year of operation, the Lab launched four innovative financial instruments that can scale up billions in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and adaptation in developing countries. These projects have made quick progress—this summer they were endorsed by the G7, and they have already collectively raised hundreds of millions of dollars in initial seed funding.

The Lab is now seeking the next round of ideas, and you have a role to play. They need your innovative ideas to drive finance for climate resilience. If you have an idea, we urge you to submit it. The deadline for submitting ideas is November 6th. You can learn more about the Lab, selection criteria, and the previous ideas at

We look forward to your ideas!

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