New Champions Group on Adaptation Finance launched amid call to accelerate adaptation finance

A new Champions Group on Adaptation Finance, launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2021, has issued a clear political commitment to work with developing countries to accelerate adaptation finance and invited other climate finance providers to join them.

News, 22 September 2021
Women in a field bend over to harvest crop

Women harvest their rice crop in Meceburi forest reserve near Nampula, Mozambique (Photo: copyright Mike Goldwater)

In a high-level side event to the 76th UN General Assembly, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Finland launched a new informal Champions Group on Adaptation Finance.

The countries have joined forces to: 

  1. Increase the total share of climate finance spent on adaptation and resilience, particularly for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) by committing to a balanced approach in their own public climate finance, leading by example, and encouraging others to join them in this effort, and  
  2. Advocate for improved quality and accessibility of adaptation finance. 

At the UNGA event they encouraged bilateral, multilateral and private finance providers to make efforts to improve the quantity, quality and accessibility of adaptation finance, and to join this champions group if they can commit to its objectives. 

How to engage with this group
Contact Eva Schreuder ([email protected]) and Jen Hobbs ([email protected]) for further information.

Key statements from UN General Assembly launch event

Speaking at the event, ministers and senior government officials from climate finance providers as well as LDCs and SIDS made statements on the importance of addressing the quantity, quality and access to adaptation finance. 

Flemming Møller Mortensen, minister for development cooperation, Denmark, said: “For every US$4 of international climate finance to developing countries, only $1 goes to adaptation. This is not enough. Adaptation is not a choice. We are willing to walk the talk. I am confident that together we can raise the ambitions for more finance for adaption.”

Colm Brophy, minister of state for overseas development aid and diaspora, Ireland, said: “We know that individual country investments are insufficient. We need to lead by example, and bring the finance community together to significantly increase the overall share of adaptation finance, and to ensure it flows to where it is most needed – in particular to Least Developed Countries and to Small Island Developing States.”  

Kitty van der Heijden, vice-minister for international cooperation, Kingdom of the Netherlands, said: “With only weeks to go until we meet in Glasgow for the crucial COP26 negotiations, there is an urgent need to build trust, develop a shared understanding of the barriers and challenges around adaptation finance and propose concrete solutions to overcoming these. Today I am honoured to share the stage again with representatives of the LDCs and SIDS to advance this important dialogue and take the necessary steps towards accelerating adaptation in the parts of the world that simply have no more time to lose.”  

Per Olsson Fridh, minister for international development cooperation, Sweden, said: “Together we need to take responsibility for reducing the emissions. Together we need to deal with the consequences of our actions. Let us improve adaptation capacity, increase resilience and reduce vulnerability of those countries most in need.”

Alok Sharma, COP president designate, UK, said: “I urge all providers of climate finance, including donors and MDBs to join the efforts of the champions group. Finance must work as much to protect, as to prevent. As well as dealing with balance, we must also deal with fundamental issues, including increasing the sums available, and improving access. This champions group will play an important role in making that a reality.”  

Ville Skinnari, minister for development cooperation and foreign trade, Finland, said: “Building resilience and adapting to the impacts of climate change is the most critical challenge of our times. We therefore strongly support and encourage integration of climate action, including adaptation, in national budget and planning processes. While national institutions and processes such as planning and budgeting are key, we also need to ensure voices on the ground are being heard. Women and other vulnerable groups must be involved.”

Watch a summary of the event below. This video is also available in IIED's YouTube channel with English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full recordings of the event, in English, French and Spanish, are available below:

The event was supported by IIED and E3G.


Ebony Holland ([email protected]), nature-climate policy lead

Alex Scott, ([email protected]), climate diplomacy and geopolitics programme lead