Convening on 11 November, speakers addressed urgent action required to close the prevailing adaptation finance gap and deliver finance to communities where it is needed most. They agreed that, while scaled-up finance that matches adaptation needs is required, much remains to be done to transition the financial mechanism and the global financial system.
Jocabed Solano, an Indigenous woman from the Gunadale nation in Panama, spoke of how her community lives in close relationship with the sea and the land.
“The sea levels are rising, displacing our communities to the mainland and forcing us to adapt,” said Solano, who is also a theologian and activist. “Indigenous peoples are building food sovereignty and promoting adaptation by preserving local seeds, for example.”
Solano said that research and recognition are needed for the contribution of Indigenous wisdom and practices to adaptation. “We need to decolonise our understanding of adaptation,” she urged. “It’s not just about advocacy, it’s about spiritual advocacy – we are all interconnected – and a matter of human rights.”
Maro Maua, a youth voice on adaptation finance from Kenya, brought his experience as a delegate from the Lutheran World Federation during COP26 and now during COP27. “We say that adaptation finance must reach those who are most impacted by climate change such as the poor and women,” he said. “But who are these people?”
He noted that young people make up half of them—and half the world’s population as well. “When we talk about the global goal for adaptation, the youth should not be excluded,” he said. “It is high time for young people to occupy spaces of negotiations on adaptation and climate change.”
With youth, comes the energy to adapt, he noted. “Youth inclusion is key,” he urged.
Rev. Dr Lesmore Ezekiel, director of programs for the All Africa Conference of Churches, reflected that, for African churches, the welfare of the Earth is the welfare of the community. “The global goal for adaptation speaks about capacity, resilience and reducing vulnerability,” he noted. “But are we getting there?”
There is no time for hypocrisy in the negotiations—no time for cosmetic promises,” Ezekiel emphasized. “It so difficult for African nations and communities to access adaptation funds—it raises the question of racism,” he said. “We cannot talk about life for a few and death for many. Vulnerable communities in Africa must have access to adaptation funds.”
The event was co-organized by the World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance, All Africa Conference of Churches, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Bread for the World, and Lutheran World Federation.