Even the most stringent efforts to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases will not prevent impacts of climate change in the next few decades, so adaptation is crucial. Adaptation is also closely connected to development, and possibilities to create synergies between the two are increasingly recognized and pursued – with the view that an adaptation strategy that is fully mainstreamed into development will best address the underlying factors of vulnerability to climate change, such as agricultural practices and food insecurity.

This article looks at the issues that arise with mainstreaming adaptation finance: Financial flows for adaptation and development are currently separate; developing countries have expressed concern that it will lead to existing development aid being reassigned to adaptation, rather than to new and additional funds; and mainstreaming could also divert funds for adaptation into more general development activities, limiting the opportunity to evaluate their climate-related benefits.

In this context, the article also looks at the implications of the Copenhagen Accord for climate mitigation and adaptation finance, and at major questions to be answered and tasks to be undertaken to ensure that adaptation efforts are properly supported and that trust between developed and developing countries in strengthened.

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