Mitigation and adaptation funding

Legal assistance paper

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Date produced: 03/04/2011

Does Decision 1/CP.16 (of the Cancun Agreements) deviate from the equal attention to be paid to adaptation and mitigation in terms of allocation? Does it mean all the USD 100 billion is to be allocated for mitigation actions?

Although paragraph 2(b) talks about giving equal priority to mitigation and adaptation, it does not (by itself) require equal finance for mitigation and adaptation.

Notwithstanding this, it is our view (although the text is not completely clear) that the USD 100bn is intended to be split equally between mitigation and adaptation based on the language contained in Annex III of the COP decision which seeks to achieve a balanced allocation of funding between mitigation and adaptation.

Paragraph 2(b) of Decision 1/CP.16 states that: “Adaptation must be addressed with the same priority as mitigation and requires appropriate institutional arrangements to enhance adaptation action and support”.

From this paragraph, there is no indication that funding for adaptation must be equal to funding for mitigation – merely that the issues of mitigation and adaptation must be addressed with the same priority. As such, it cannot be said, strictly, that paragraph 98 is contrary to paragraph 2(b).

However, a few further comments about paragraph 98 are necessary. First, the drafting of the paragraph does not make clear what the USD 100bn is for. In our view, based on discussions in Copenhagen (where this figure was originally agreed), it is for both mitigation and adaptation.

Second, paragraph 98 raises the question of the relevance of the phrase “in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation”. In our view, this is places a condition on the delivery of finance by developed countries and is not intended to dictate how the funding is spent.

Third, and without prejudice to what we say above in relation to there being no obligation pursuant to paragraph 2(b) for finance to be split equally between mitigation and adaptation, it is our view that the intention is that the long-term finance is to be split equally between the two despite their being no explicit indication in paragraph 98. This is for two reasons. First, this is the view of various negotiators with whom we have spoken. Second, Annex III to Decision 1/CP.16 which sets out the terms of reference for the Green Climate Fund and which has as one of its objectives, the “balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation”.