Nations are making advances in preparing for climate change, but there are significant gaps, according to a United Nations Environment Program report released Thursday.
The UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020 found that 72% of nations have adopted at least one national-level adaptation measure, but financing and implementation "fall far short," the report said, particularly in finance for developing countries and bringing adaptation projects to the stage where they bring real reductions in climate risks. Another area needing more attention is nature-based solutions.
"The hard truth is that climate change is upon us," UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said in a news release. "Its impacts will intensify and hit vulnerable countries and communities the hardest, even if we meet the Paris Agreement goals of holding global warming this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius and pursuing 1.5 degrees Celsius."
Adaptation financing is on the rise, but annual adaptation costs are rising faster. Annual adaptation costs in developing countries are $70 billion but could reach up to $300 billion in 2030, and $500 billion in 2050. "Stepping up public and private finance for adaptation is, therefore, urgently needed," the report said.
Adaptation actions are also increasing, the report said. Since 2006, there have been nearly 400 adaptation projects financed by multinational funds serving the Paris Agreement. To date, only 3% have reported real reductions to climate risks in those projects' communities.