Adaptation Fund: Exploring the Gender Dimensions of Climate Finance Mechanisms

Established at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2007, the Adaptation Fund was set up to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.1 Because of its unique ownership, access, funding, revenue generation, governance and legal structure, the Fund has received considerable attention in the international community.

Developing countries expect the Fund to provide a steady and sustainable stream of funding for adaptation measures, and developed countries are eager to assess the Fund’s novel governance and financing instruments, in which developing countries play a lead role.

The Adaptation Fund does not depend on traditional development assistance alone. Rather, it will be financed primarily through the carbon market, in the form of a two percent share of the proceeds realized from the sale of certified emissions reductions (CERs) issued for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. This alternative financing vehicle is responsive to developing countries’ demands that climate change financing be additional to official development assistance.

No specific gender references were included in the original operational guidelines, accreditation procedure and project review criteria. However, in order to address some of the challenges which were encountered in the early stages of operationalization, the Board is actively reviewing and updating these documents. Thus, there are still significant opportunities to increase the degree to which the fund incorporates a gender perspective.

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