Adaptation Fund Moves Full Steam Ahead
with Ambitious and Historic COP21 Climate Accord

Paris, France (December 13, 2015) – With nearly 200 countries agreeing to move forward with grand ambition to tackle climate change in an historic universal agreement in Paris, the Adaptation Fund will be part of the unprecedented step as it is included in the decisions that accompany the new accord.

The Agreement was fittingly adopted on Dec. 12, almost one month to the day after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, with French President Francois Hollande calling it “a major leap forward for mankind” to reduce global warming and preserve Earth and life.

The Conference of the Parties 21st Session to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), which brought together leaders from 196 member nations Nov. 30 – Dec. 12 in Paris to carve out a global climate deal to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and help vulnerable countries adapt to extreme events they are already facing, went through three drafts during two hard-working weeks of negotiations before reaching a final deal.

“This text contains the principal elements that we felt would be impossible to achieve,” said COP21 President Laurent Fabius. “It is my deep conviction that we have come up with an ambitious and balanced agreement. It confirms our key objective to keep temperature increases to well below two degrees Celsius (above pre-industrial levels) and to endeavor to limit that increase to 1.5 degrees. It (also) recognizes an increased role for adaptation.”

Specific text referencing the Adaptation Fund is included in the decisions that accompany the agreement, which “Recognizes that the Adaptation Fund may serve the Agreement, subject to relevant decisions by the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol and the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.”

The latter supporting decisions, which will occur after Paris in different forums, are expected to affirm the Fund’s inclusion in the COP21 Agreement – which it considers to be major recognition of the concrete localized adaptation projects and pioneering direct access for developing countries it has been providing. The Fund received a groundswell of support from both developing and developed countries in the days leading up to the final agreement.

“We consider this a first step and are proud to continue to serve more vulnerable developing countries with concrete, effective and urgently needed adaptation and resilience projects that save lives and livelihoods,” said Adaptation Fund Manager Marcia Levaggi. “We also look forward to being part of the universal international climate ambition of the COP21 Agreement and playing a key role as a resource mechanism to reach more developing countries with tangible adaptation measures.”

Highlights of the COP21 Agreement include providing resources to developing countries to enhance both mitigation and adaptation; emphasizing ambitious and early actions to reduce future mitigation and adaptation costs; strengthening regional adaptation cooperation; identifying opportunities to strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerabilities; providing adequate resources to reduce deforestation and promote conservation and sustainable forest management; respecting human rights and gender equality; and promoting country-driven strategies, as well as regional and international cooperation to mobilize stronger climate action by all stakeholders – including civil society, indigenous peoples and the private sector.

Inclusion in the final COP21 Agreement capped off an active and positive two weeks in Paris for the Adaptation Fund, which was also recognized for its tangible projects to the most vulnerable countries with four new pledges amounting to nearly US$75 million from Sweden, Germany, Wallonia and first-time contributor Italy. “We are pleased with the outcomes of Paris,” said Adaptation Fund Board Chairman Hans Olav Ibrekk. “An independent evaluation showed recently we are producing great value, and we are in higher demand than ever, so these steps will help us on the road to gaining more financial sustainability and reaching more vulnerable countries.”

The Adaptation Fund has committed US$331 million to fund 51 concrete adaptation and resilience projects in 45 countries in sectors including sustainable agriculture, coastal zone management, water security, ecosystem restoration, and disaster risk reduction.

The Fund has a growing pipeline of projects, with a record 40 proposals received during the last submission period alone. A recent independent evaluation confirmed the Fund’s adaptation efforts to be effective, efficient and relevant and that it is further a learning institution that innovates to respond to local needs. Its pioneering Direct Access program, which allows developing countries to access funds and develop projects directly through accredited national implementing entities, was recognized for its flexibility and swiftness in responding to beneficiaries’ needs.


The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is taking place from November 30 to December 11, 2015, in Paris, France. With 196 member nations, the UNFCCC seeks a binding, universal climate change agreement that stabilizes greenhouse gas emissions at levels that prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system while also helping countries adapt to the effects of climate change already impacting vulnerable populations throughout the world. It is now recognized that adaptation is equally important as mitigation in addressing climate change but requires significant additional resources to meet a growing and urgent demand for climate adaptation projects. The Adaptation Fund is an active participant during COP 21, hosting side events and related activities.


The Adaptation Fund was established under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and since 2010 has committed US$331 million to support 54 countries. To date, 51 concrete climate adaptation and resilience projects have been approved, with the majority in the implementation stage. Please visit for more information.

Communications contact: Matthew Pueschel, or +1 202.473.6743


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