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GCF insight #23: Climate Change Adaptation in Green Climate Fund Project Development
Green Climate Fund (GCF)
Green Climate Fund (GCF)
Published in
July 2023
We’ve just released the 23rd edition of our GCF insight series. In this latest edition, we explore what avenues the Green Climate Fund (GCF) can pursue in order to increase the amount of funding for adaptation projects

The basis of this report comes from the results gained from our 23rd GCF insight survey, conducted in June 2023 – consisting of survey questions and semi-structured interviews with climate and development professionals – with responses from project developers, National Designated Authorities, Accredited Entities, consultants, CSOs, and those working on GCF project and programme development.

Why did we choose GCF adaptation projects as the focus of our analysis?

Adaptation and the resilience-building measures it creates are crucial to combatting climate change, enabling affected communities to increase their resilience to the extreme weather events already being experienced around the globe. Yet, even with the current, devastating impacts of climate change, adaptation typically receives far less attention, and funding, than mitigation measures.

Research from the OECD reveals finance flows achieved only USD $83.2 billion in 2020. While adaptation finance has increased year on year, from USD $16.9 billion in 2018 to USD $20.3 billion in 2019, and then to USD $28.6 billion in 2020, it still pales in comparison to the USD $48.6 billion for mitigation.

The GCF operates with the mandate to deliver a 50/50 split of its finance to adaptation and mitigation projects. However, of the total GCF-committed funding (USD 12 billion) currently allocated, 60% goes to mitigation and 40% to adaptation (USD 7.2 billion versus USD 4.8 billion).

Adaptation is arguably incredibly important for climate-vulnerable communities across the globe. The purpose of this report was to discover what climate and development professionals judged to be the most promising avenues for increasing the amount of fully-funded adaptation projects.

Key findings on GCF adaptation projects

Here’s a small sampling of the insights covered in the report:

  • One major challenge to gaining funding for adaptation projects is the difficulties in securing and/or communicating the return on investment in projects;
  • Adaptation projects suffer from a myriad of issues that make them appear less attractive to funders;
  • However, there are several potential solutions that address these issues, as suggested by our survey respondents.
Download the report in full to discover more on the recommended strategies for increasing the number of successfully-funded adaptation projects: