Additionality in Adaptation Finance


Project Description

Additionality is a key funding principle for climate finance, and is intended to ensure that climate finance is used to advance climate objectives, and not substitute for traditional development finance. What interventions qualify as additional, however, is not always clear, particularly for adaptation projects. This project will review the adaptation literature and empirical evidence of additionality argumentation in adaptation projects to advance our understanding of the relationship between development and adaptation and its implications for climate finance. A content analysis of the additionality justifications in adaptation proposals financed by UNFCCC funds will be conducted. Adaptation interventions will be categorized and the rationales for additionality mapped to identify key themes and trends. Based on the literature review and project proposal analysis, a typology of additionality arguments for adaptation will be developed. Findings will be drawn about (1) the extent to which definitional conceptions of adaptation affect funding decisions; (2) evidence of trade-offs faced by developing countries between adaptation and development; (3) possible lost opportunities for synergies between adaptation and development, and (4) the extent to which development projects appear to be masked as adaptation projects.


Project Lead: Laura Kuhl

Research Assistants: Bilal Choudary, Alejandra Mazariegos




Hewlett Foundation