The Adaptation Fund Board officially signed on to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) today. The Fund’s mandate to provide funding to the most vulnerable people in the world to combat the devastating effects of increased droughts, rising sea levels, and other natural disasters due the effects of climate change is a major challenge and the resources available are small in comparison to the demand.
While relatively small in the climate finance landscape, the Adaptation Fund has been a first mover in many areas. The larger impact of the Fund may very well be its ability to be flexible and to pioneer initiatives such as:
1) Market-based resource mobilization: most of the aid architecture for climate finance is through country contributions; the Fund, however, receives revenue from a two per cent levy on emission reductions from the clean development mechanism. To date this has generated 188 million USD.
2) Direct access to climate finance for developing countries: the vast majority of climate finance flows to recipients through multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, World Bank and other regional development banks. The Adaptation Fund, however, is recognizing strong institutions in developing countries and letting them take on the implementation of projects and programmes on behalf of the country.
3) Governance structure: developing country governments have a majority of seats on the Adaptation Fund Board.
4) Results management: prior to approving a single project, the Board approved a results-based management framework, which not only gives its work a strategic focus but has set indicators and targets for process effectiveness.
The success of the Fund in establishing an effective framework for climate finance is being examined with interest by donors, civil society, academics, and policy makers. As the devastating effects of climate change become increasingly clear, and attention turns to scaling up climate finance through the long-awaited Green Climate Fund, the experience of the Adaptation Fund is ever more critical. The Fund is keen to share its successes and lessons learned so that the larger community can improve the effectiveness of aid delivery within climate finance generally and with specific attention to climate change adaptation. By becoming a signatory to IATI, the Adaptation Fund is confirming its commitment to openness and transparency.
 While unique, the volatility of the market has led to an unstable revenue stream. The recent crash in the price of CERs has meant that the Fund must now rely more heavily on voluntary contributions.