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Adaptation versus mitigation funding

This video focuses on the distribution of funds between the two approaches of adaptation and mitigation, and how governments try to balance these.
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HELLEN DAWO: The dilemma of who came first, the chicken or the egg, is a nice way to start this step. For those who are not familiar with this dilemma it simply states, which of the two came first, the chicken or the egg? Do you know the answer? Can you explain why, and how? The dilemma of the chicken and the egg is similar to the situation many governments find themselves in. They need to make decisions on whether to fund climate mitigation or climate adaptation. Climate mitigation concentrates on reduction of emissions that cause climate change, while climate adaptation concentrates on ways to change the way we live in order to be resilient to climate change.
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So both climate mitigation and climate adaptation are important. Climate adaptation focuses on ways in which people and nature can live with the changes already being experienced due to climate change and the predicted changes to come. However, climate adaptation may cost more than climate mitigation. While mitigation concentrates on solving single problems such as CO2 emissions, adaptation calls for holistic and inclusive thinking. In this way context-specific and innovative solutions could be implemented. Governments are often faced with the dilemma of which approach to take in response to climate change– mitigation or adaptation. That’s the chicken or egg dilemma. Which one should be funded first? In various reports mitigation and adaptation are seen as complementary strategies.
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Climate mitigation serves to keep climate risks at a minimal. An example of mitigation is the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. On the other hand, climate adaptation is aimed at safeguarding people and nature despite the changes in the climate, for example, through coastal protection. The IPCC recommends a 50-50 allocation of funds. This recommendation may seem ideal, however in reality more funds are directed towards climate mitigation. For example, in 2018 approximately 93% of climate funds were utilised for mitigation and just 5% for adaptation. The reason for this big difference may be because the effects of climate change are felt acutely, and mitigation provides quick and clear solutions to the effects.
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In contrast, climate adaptation requires more forethought and co-operation. In conclusion, current policy decisions by governments favour climate mitigation as opposed to climate adaptation. As you can see, public funds in blue constitute a greater share of climate finance compared to private funds in red. However, concentrating on mitigation may result in short term solutions. The disadvantages of delaying adaptation funding are one, loss of life due to events such as storm surges and crop failure leading to lack of food. Two, need for more costly adaptation solutions because extreme events will need to be handled swiftly rather than gradually. And three, loss of property due to unpreparedness for the coming changes.
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It is also important to note that contrary to appearances, most climate funds are spent in the global North rather than in the global South.

This video focuses on the distribution of funds between the two approaches of adaptation and mitigation, and how governments try to balance these.

Climate mitigation concentrates on reduction of emissions that cause climate change. Climate adaptation concentrates on ways to change the way we live in order to be resilient to climate change.

Climate adaptation may cost more than climate mitigation. Adaptation calls for holistic and inclusive thinking. Governments are often faced with the dilemma of which approach to take in response to climate change– mitigation or adaptation.

Currently, most funds are directed towards climate mitigation. For example, in 2018 approximately 93% of climate funds were geared to mitigation and just 5% for adaptation.

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Making Climate Adaptation Happen: Governing Transformation Strategies for Climate Change

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