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Shaping the Future of Multilateralism: Artificial distinction between climate change adaptation and development restricts access to climate finance for developing countries

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This study is part of the series "Shaping the Future of Multilateralism - Inclusive Pathways to a Just and Crisis-Resilient Global Order" by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung's European Union and Washington, DC offices.


Urgently addressing the growing impact of climate change in developing countries, especially on the most poor and marginalized people and communities, requires a better understanding of what constitutes adaptation, how it applies in local contexts, and how to increase the quantity and quality of financing provided for such measures. Some funders have created an artificial distinction between adaptation and development approaches, ignoring the past injustices and related historical development deficits, that is counterproductive and limits access to adaptation financing for developing countries. Instead, the international community should focus on “climate-proofing” development projects, frameworks, and systems, respect and protect human rights, encourage participation, and account for the disproportionate effects of climate change on women and girls.

Product details
Date of Publication
June 2021
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Washington, DC
Number of Pages
Language of publication
Table of contents

Artificial distinction between climate change adaptation and development restricts access to climate finance for developing countries

Urgent need to scale up adaptation measures and financing

Overcoming the adaptation-development dichotomy

Climate-proofing development

A climate justice approach to financing adaptation