Oxfam calls for wealthy countries to step up climate adaptation finance commitments at virtual meeting ahead of January’s Climate Adaptation Summit

Thursday, January 21, 2021

As vulnerable communities across the globe respond to climate emergencies Oxfam is calling on governments of rich countries to step up the money they provide to help communities adapt to the changing climactic conditions.

At a virtual meeting ahead of the 25 January UN Climate Adaptation Summit, hosted by the Netherlands, Oxfam’s climate policy advisor Nafkote Dabi said that developed countries with historical responsibility for the climate crisis must step up and help vulnerable communities prepare and adapt to new ways of farming using water and building infrastructure that will stand up to climactic rigours that our warming planet forces upon them.

“Whether it is re-building mangroves to reduce damaging storm surges, providing finance for small scale farmers to insure their crops, better communications for communities to prepare for climate driven floods or new seeds and farming techniques to cope with changing weather conditions, developed countries have a moral duty to provide finance for vulnerable low emitting countries to adapt to climactic changes that they have done little to cause but suffer the most in terms of loss of life, livelihoods and places to live.”

“In addition we must reduce the share of climate finance provided in the form of loans. Around 80% of climate finance provided in 2018 was in the form of loans and other non-grant instruments. The world’s poorest countries and communities should not be forced to take out loans to protect themselves from the excess carbon emissions of rich countries, contributing to rising, and in many countries, unsustainable debt levels. Adaptation finance must be in the form of grants and spent on locally-appropriate adaptation plans and take into account the different needs of men and women.”

Farmer Zida Lwanakadia from Mt Elgon Region, Eastern Uganda said: “The coffee season has completely changed and the yields are going down”. Warmer weather has increased coffee plant diseases and pests, forcing farmers to look for land on higher ground that will still have the weather conditions that produce the healthiest plants and highest coffee bean yields. This brings fierce competition for access to this land.

Ms. Ayesh Siddika, a young activist from Bangladesh emphasized the need to focus on people who are being left out of the climate adaptation process reporting that fishing communities are losing fishing days due to more frequent cyclones while having to abide by strict fishing bans at certain times of the year. Some are also losing their homes to river induced erosion and flood and are forced to migrate. She said: “I see people talking about what communities ‘should do’ to adapt with the changes. My question is do we not see that these people simply do not have the resources to adapt? Can they create another island when it vanishes? Can they make the cyclones disappear?”

In Bangladesh, communities devasted by Cyclone Amphan in May 2020 were already working hard to protect mangroves and dig more drainage and flood defences because of the increase in severity and number of storms they were experiencing.

In Pakistan, women from Kaka Pir Village near Hawkesbay, Karachi who live in communities reliant on the mangroves have been replanting areas to help prevent damaging storm surges and preserve wildlife that they earn tourist income from.

Dabi said: “Over a decade ago, developed countries committed to mobilize $100bn per year by 2020 to support developing countries to adapt and reduce their emissions. This goal is a critical part of the Paris Agreement. However, only an estimated 25% of reported public climate finance went for adaptation while 66% was for mitigation. It’s critical that governments realise Adaptation finance is needed now to support frontline communities currently impacted by the effects the climate crisis is already having, the changes we are already seeing. These are communities in crisis now.”


Notes to editors: 

To register to join the 21 January Oxfam Climate Adaptation Webinar 8 am-9 am GMT (9 am–10 am CET, 11.00 am in Uganda, 13.00 in Pakistan, and 14.00 pm in Bangladesh) or for interviews with Ms. Ayesh Siddika or Nafkote Dabi please contact: tcorbett1@oxfam.org.uk / +44 7824 824 359

Climate Adaptation Webinar in advance of Climate Adaptation Summit (25-26January). A look at impact of climate crisis in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Uganda and discussion of why governments must step up and provide proper climate finance enabling countries to become more resilient and carry out adaptation as their climates change. Panellists will be:

Ms Cécile Duflot, Executive Director Oxfam France, presenting Oxfam’s Climate Finance Shadow Report

Mr. Bob Natif, the acting commissioner of the Climate change department in Uganda discussing climate adaptation work in Uganda.

Ms Babi Dablo, Community Representative from Indus Dulta, Sindh, Pakistan speaking on her experience of what is happening on the ground in terms of adaptation

Ms Ayesha Siddika, youth activist from Bangladesh, and field officer at the Centre for Natural Resource Studies.

Questions will be moderated by the climate envoy to The Kingdom of The Netherlands, Mr. Marcel Beukeboom.

Oxfam’s response to the OECD climate finance report is HERE

Oxfam’s Climate Finance Shadow Report – published 20.10.2020 is HERE with press release HERE