During a side event at COP28, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell delivered a stark message encapsulated in the annual Adaptation Gap report: the world remains underfinanced and unprepared in facing the escalating climate crisis. Stiell highlighted that the gap in adaptation measures isn't merely a gap anymore; it has widened into a chasm, an alarming reality that demands immediate attention and action. Despite the urgency, adaptation efforts struggle to compete with mitigation endeavors for crucial attention, prioritization, and funding. Emphasizing that adaptation and mitigation must be equally prioritized, Stiell addressed the concerning stagnation of progress in adaptation, revealed by the Global Stocktake. He stressed the need to accelerate action across the climate agenda, proposing a new framework for a global adaptation goal as a measure of success in combating climate change impacts. Stiell applauded the recent historic agreement at COP28 to operationalize the loss and damage fund, recognizing it as a vital addition to the financial structure for climate change. However, he cautioned against considering it a substitute for, or reason to reduce, the urgent need for increased adaptation finance. The report highlighted a significant shortfall in projected adaptation finance, estimating it to reach $40 billion annually by 2025, substantially below the $387 billion estimated to be necessary for developing countries each year. Stiell urged for a substantial scaling-up of adaptation finance, calling for broader contributions, including involvement from the private sector and international financial institutions. Noting the importance of funding being accessible, affordable, and immediate, Stiell advocated for grants over loans, stressing that countries' proactive steps in adapting to climate change should not lead to insurmountable debt burdens. He concluded by framing adaptation as an investment in the future rather than a sign of defeat, urging for the necessary financial support and atte ntion it deserves to bridge the gap and address the widening chasm between available resources and escalating climate impacts. Source: National News Agency - Lebanon


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