Aid and Adaptation to Climate Change in Pacific Island Countries

26 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2016

See all articles by Carola Betzold

Carola Betzold

University of Gothenburg - School of Global Studies

Date Written: July 28, 2016


Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are already experiencing the adverse impact of climate change yet often lack (human and financial) resources to meet the challenges of changing climatic conditions.

This paper examines adaptation aid committed to recipient countries in the Pacific between 2010 and 2014 using data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Specifically, the analysis tracks how much adaptation aid flowed to the PICs, which countries and sectors received how much, and which bilateral and multilateral donors provided this aid. Although the analysis is only a first step towards a more detailed understanding of adaptation aid flows in the Pacific, some conclusions can be drawn. First, adaptation aid to PICs is only a small share of global adaptation aid as well as of total development aid to the region. Second, adaptation aid comes from only a small number of mostly bilateral donors, and is, third, distributed unevenly among PICs, in total adaptation aid, on a per capita basis as well as in percent of overall development aid. Finally, adaptation aid to the Pacific has steadily declined from a high in 2011, largely driven by Australia’s considerable reduction in adaptation aid in the region.

Donors should not only provide scaled-up and more predictable support for adaptation in the Pacific; they should also ensure that the support reaches those most in need. Finally, donors should also improve reporting so that adaptation aid can be tracked and monitored more easily.

Keywords: climate change, climate adaptation, Pacific island countries, Pacific, climate financing

JEL Classification: Q54, F35

Suggested Citation

Betzold, Carola, Aid and Adaptation to Climate Change in Pacific Island Countries (July 28, 2016). Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 46, Available at SSRN: or

Carola Betzold (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg - School of Global Studies ( email )

POB 700
Gothenburg, SE 40530

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