DevExplains: Green Climate Funds
"What's interesting is that it's not just a single switch from maize to something else," said UNDP's Kurukulasuriya. "It's the likely means to switch again over time as conditions continue to change. This is part of the problem with climate change. It's not just that change is occurring, but that change is occurring at a faster rate than it has in mankind's lifetime. The need to have that flexibility to understand what's happening around you and to change with that at the right time, becomes an incredibly important part of the armoury that countries now have to develop." Assessing whether or not an impact is climate related requires undertaking a significant amount of climate modeling work or analysis, which Kurukulasuriya said is one of the major challenges that developing countries struggle with. Other common challenges, he notes, include lack of historical data at the community level and lack of technical capacity for forecasting the impacts of climate change as well as the effects of adaptation in both the near- and long-term. "So it becomes a question of ‘what can we do on top of what's already been done to ensure that these additional risks of climate change are managed better?’" said Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, head of climate change and adaptation programming at UNDP For organizations and developing countries still intent on formulating an adaptation proposal, the best way to pinpoint what adaptation finance should focus on is by first establishing a development baseline, then doing additionality reasoning in terms of management of risks associated with climate change hazards, advises Kurulasuriya. Establishing a baseline entails looking at what is being done today to address the non-climate change related drivers of the underlying problem and what is likely to happen without any additional interventions, given the reality unfolding in terms of climate change — that is, the likely range of effects or impacts. Then, in order to establish the “climate change additionality” rationale of a project, organizations have to identify those additional results that need to be achieved to minimize the effects of specific climate change induced impacts. This thought process is what allows one to formulate and justify the importance of select adaptation interventions that address the drivers that are directly attributable to climate change. "So it becomes a question of ‘what can we do on top of what's already been done to ensure that these additional risks of climate change are managed better?’" said Kurukulasuriya. "When you do that, you realize there's a lot of co-benefits to other development gains that you're also interested in achieving, such as women's empowerment, and you try to maximize those as much as possible."