UN Creating Small Adaptation Fund by Going Carbon Neutral

The IPCC has warned us that developing nations are poised to bear the most dramatic effects of global warming, and so far we (the world) have done practically nothing to counter or prevent that fact. But the UN is trying.

This week in Bali the UN announced that it will go carbon neutral by offsetting the operations of over 20 agencies, including the office of Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. With the money collected, the UN will invest in an Adaptation Fund to help developing countries combat the consequences of climate change in coming decades. At its start, the fund will be worth no more than $50 million, but advocates hope that number will grow as we see increasing need for a fund of its type.

The UN stepped over indecision as to who should be responsible for an adaptation fund – the World Bank or the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which has undergone criticism of its attempt to manage a sufficient fund.

The need for a pot of money devoted to adaptation is dire.

If we fail to slow global warming soon enough, it will cause sea levels to rise and consequently threaten major coastal and deltaic regions of Africa and Asia. Limited access to freshwater and generally strained water resources will devastate hundreds of millions, possibly billions, of people and force mass migrations and famines. For more details, see the second report released by the IPCC this year.

Despite how much they will suffer, to date, developing countries have not made a sizable contribution to global warming. As a result, their ability to act is limited. Since these countries have underdeveloped industry, there is little they can do to reduce emissions in the industrial sector. And the question of how to incorporate agricultural and forestry emissions into carbon markets, currently excluded, is still up in the air (though the World Bank is giving it a shot). Therefore, adaptation must weigh heavily on the minds of those contemplating policy in developing countries.

Unfortunately, much, much more dedication from government and private investment will be needed for the fund to make a difference.

4 Responses to UN Creating Small Adaptation Fund by Going Carbon Neutral

  1. Ron says:


    Do you know if the UN is helping all those ‘climate refugees’ Al Gore mentioned in his recent speech?

  2. Ron says:

    Gore said in his speech, “Climate refugees have migrated into areas already inhabited by people with different cultures, religions, and traditions, increasing the potential for conflict.”

    I’ve been searching for news articles about this, but haven’t found any. Does anybody have a link?

  3. Dano says:

    NOLA, Sub-Saharan Africa, Horn of Africa, Mayan-Aztec civilizations.



  4. Ron says:


    New Orleans? That was a weather, not climate, event.

    And yes, I know about the theory that a 200-year long drought may have led to the collapse of the Mayan’s civilization – and just goes to show that severe droughts can have natural causes.

    But I specifically wanted to know about the refugees Gore was referring to.

    I did find an interesting page about environmental refugees, but it sounds like most of them were displaced by something other than climate change – 50 million in China and India, for instance, displaced by development projects. But goes on, of course, to predict many climate change refugees.

    It also say that the UN doesn’t officially recognize environmental refugees, but perhaps that is changing.

    Too bad the Church of Global Warming doesn’t do outreach programs like other churches. I bet some zealous glowarmers could easily raise $50 to match the Global Governance Project funds. Maybe somebody could tap Al Gore for a few several millions; you know help out the poor folks, set a good global example.