November 21, 2007 11:43 ET

More, Better Funding Needed for Climate Change Adaptation, Says Anti-Poverty Agency

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 21, 2007) - International funding donated to help poor populations adapt to climate change is insufficient and not effectively meeting needs, according to a report launched today by the anti-poverty agency, ActionAid.

"Even if rich countries were to announce massive pledges tomorrow, whether such funds would truly meet the needs of poor communities will depend on the quality of those funds -- how they are disbursed, managed, and governed," said ActionAid Policy Associate, Ilana Solomon. "Right now, that quality is in serious question."

The report recommends donor nations adhere to five key principles to ensure money best meets the need of vulnerable communities. These include democratic governance, civil society participation, sustainable and compensatory funding, access for the most vulnerable, and a ban on economic policy conditionality.

"Of serious concern right now is that decision-making lies predominantly with donor countries. The voices of poor people are routinely pushed aside," said ActionAid Food and Hunger Policy Analyst, Karen Hansen-Kuhn.

"Poor communities have already been coping with climate change for decades. They know best what strategies for adaptation will work in their local contexts, and must have democratic input about how funds are used and evaluated," Ms. Solomon added.

In addition, says the report, adaptation financing must be based on the "polluter pays" principle, which recognizes that financing for adaptation is not owed as loans to poor countries as aid, but as compensation grants from high-emissions countries to those that are most vulnerable to the impacts.

"Now is the time to get adaptation funding right. The international community must realize that it is not just new funds, but new quality funds, that will allow poor communities to meet their adaptation needs. The global north has created a problem that the global south is now dealing with. We need to act now. And we need to act justly," said Ms. Solomon.

ActionAid's report, "Compensating for Climate Change: Principles and Lessons for Equitable Adaptation Funding" can be downloaded at

ActionAid is an international anti-poverty agency working in over 40 countries, taking sides with poor people to end poverty and injustice together. For more information,

Contact Information

  • Sandy Krawitz
    Communications Director
    ActionAid USA
    Email Contact

    Ilana Solomon
    ActionAid Policy Associate
    Email Contact