The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phone,+1 617 482 1211 (Toll-free 1-800-77-OXFAM),Email,

Found: $50 Billion for Adaptation Needs

nnovative Financing Mechanisms Can Fund Adaptation Needs Without Breaking the Bank

POZNAN, Poland

Negotiators at the UN climate change talks must
urgently endorse innovative market-based mechanisms to find enough
money for developing countries to adapt to the current and worsening
effects of climate change, said international agency Oxfam today.

In a new report released today, "Turning Carbon into Gold,"
Oxfam said there are ways already available to raise tens of billions
of dollars that are linked to emissions reduction schemes. These would
ensure that those countries most responsible for emissions, and that
can afford to pay, would shoulder the bulk of the obligations. At least
$50 billion per year is needed to fund adaptation in developing
countries, with more necessary if a new climate change deal is
inadequate to keep global warming to below 2degC.

"With a global
financial crisis unfolding, these mechanisms could raise enough money
from polluters without governments having to dip into national
treasuries," said Heather Coleman, Oxfam's Senior Climate Change Policy
Advisor and author of the report. "Many negotiators agree this is one
of the more practical approaches. Billions of dollars can be raised and
invested to prevent future climate change and to help poor people adapt
to the negative impacts of global warming."

The most effective
and fair approach for generating adaptation financing is to link into
the emissions-reduction system that would form a core part of a
post-2012 agreement, where "international emissions units" are
allocated to rich countries. Oxfam says that a portion of these units
must be auctioned rather than given away free to countries.

estimates that more than $50 billion could be raised each year by 2015
by auctioning just 7.5 per cent of rich countries' international
emissions units. This money should be handed to a new multilateral
adaptation-finance mechanism under the UNFCCC. Other new finance
mechanisms within the aviation and shipping sectors could generate
another $28 billion - $12 billion from aviation and $16.6 billion from
shipping annually - just from rich countries.

"Helping vulnerable
people cope with the effects of climate change is desperately needed
today because they are already face increasingly severe and
ever-worsening climate change impacts," said Coleman.

countries need help to build up their resilience by, for example,
upgrading national flood early-warning systems, planting mangrove
'bio-shields' along coasts to diffuse storm waves and growing
drought-tolerant crops. If countries fail to adapt to the new reality
of climate change, they will suffer far greater damage from floods,
droughts and hurricanes, and at much higher cost, both in human and
financial terms.

"It is extremely important for negotiators in
Poznan to reach a broad understanding about how best to raise
adaptation money because they have paid lip-service to the issue for
too long. It is a vital part of the overall deal - a litmus test of how
serious rich countries are in tackling the problem," Coleman said.

people around the world bear the brunt of climate change and yet they
are least responsible for global warming," said Coleman. "Even during
tempestuous financial times, rich countries can and should help poor
people cope. We cannot afford to exchange a short-term saving for a
long-term disaster."

Oxfam International is a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice. We are working across regions in about 70 countries, with thousands of partners, and allies, supporting communities to build better lives for themselves, grow resilience and protect lives and livelihoods also in times of crisis.