UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2022

The report titled “The Adaptation Gap Report 2022: Too Little, Too Slow – Climate adaptation failure puts world at risk” was released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

About the Adaptation Gap Report

The Adaptation Gap Report (AGR) has been published each year since 2014 by the UNEP to provide science-based assessment of the global progress on adaptation planning, financing and implementation. It recommends measures that can further the national and global adaptation efforts and provides in-depth assessment of various topics of interest.

What is adaptation?

Adaptation is the measures taken to protect against the already unavoidable climate change consequences. It refers to the adjustments in the social, economic and ecological systems that are changing or will change because of climate crisis. It is one of the 3 major planks of climate action. The others are:

Mitigation: Efforts that seek to minimise the effects of global warming.

Loss and damage: Efforts that enable countries to mitigate the impact of disasters and recover from their aftermath.

What are the key findings of the AGR 2022?

  • The current global efforts in adaptation planning, financing and implementation are insufficient to address the growing climate-related risks.
  • The world is currently on track for a 2.8°C increase in average global temperature over the average temperature obtained in the pre-industrialization era of 1850 to 1900. According to researchers, if global warming is above 2°C, it could cause catastrophic climate crisis.
  • The 2022 report found that at least 84% of parties to the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) have adaptation plans, strategies, policies and laws in place. This is a 5% increase when compared with the previous year.
  • More than 8 out of 10 countries have at least one national adaptation planning instrument that is improving and becoming more inclusive.
  • A third of the 197 parties of the UNFCCC have a quantified and time-bound targets focusing on climate adaptation.
  • Almost 90 per cent of planning instruments take into consideration gender and other vulnerable groups like indigenous communities.
  • However, there lacks financial backing required to turn these plans into action.
  • International funding for the developing countries’ adaptation requirements is 5 to 10 times below the estimated needs and this gap continues to widen. The cost of the adaptation needs is expected to increase to 160-340 billion USD by 2030 and 315-565 billion USD by 2050.
  • Currently, governments’ adaptation actions are concentrated in agriculture, water, ecosystems and cross-cutting sectors. However, in the absence of financial support, adaptation actions could be outstripped by accelerating climate risks.

What are the report’s recommendations?

The report found that the linking of adaptation and mitigation actions from the outset in planning, finance and implementation can benefit climate actions significantly, while also minimising trade-offs like hydropower adversely affecting food security or irrigation increasing energy consumption.

A strong and unprecedented political will is required to increase investment in adaptation measures. Additional long-term investments are critical for preventing the adaptation gap from widening further.




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