GCA CEO Professor Patrick V. Verkooijen delivers crucial message on climate adaptation finance on sidelines of IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings

W ashington, DC, April 18, 2024 – At a high-level strategic roundtable on climate finance held on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington today, Professor Patrick V. Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) called for urgent action to increase investment in climate adaptation finance.
Verkooijen emphasized the critical findings of GCA’s latest State and Trends in Adaptation flagship report, prepared in collaboration with the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), which reveals concerning trends in global climate adaptation finance. While celebrating the significant milestone of global climate finance doubling to US $1.3 trillion annually over the past two years, he pointed out a worrisome trend – global climate adaptation finance has declined from 7% to 5% over this period.
Sounding the alarm for a pressing need for action, especially in developing countries, the GCA CEO stressed that $3.3 trillion in adaptation finance is required over the next decade to 2035, an amount he said must quadruple.
“The core message from the report is clear – there is an urgent need for increased global and African investments in climate adaptation efforts to address the growing challenges posed by climate change,” Verkooijen said.
Report authors Jamal Saghir and Ede Ijasz-Vasquez note: “Of particular concern is the situation in Africa, where only 20% of global adaptation finance flows are directed, leaving the continent significantly underfunded. With current financing levels, Africa is projected to mobilize a mere $195 billion by 2035, falling vastly short of the required $1.6 trillion.”
Highlighting the insufficient focus on adaptation, Verkooijen underscored that only 36% of climate finance for Africa is allocated towards adaptation efforts, a decrease from 39% two years ago. Commending African governments’ efforts, he said that they were stepping up by allocating more resources from their budgets towards adaptation than they receive from bilateral development finance institutions, demonstrating a strong commitment to tackling climate challenges.
He noted that a significant portion of adaptation finance in Africa is sourced from borrowing, with debt accounting for over half of the funds directed towards adaptation initiatives.
The GCA head expressed concern over the limited involvement of the private sector in financing adaptation efforts, with less than 3% of global and African adaptation actions being funded by private entities, predominantly philanthropic organizations rather than corporate entities.
Reiterating the urgency of the situation, Verkooijen called on governments, financial institutions, and the private sector to prioritize and significantly scale up investments in climate adaptation to protect communities and build resilience against the increasing impacts of climate change.

Related posts: