Experts & Advocates React to Kerry’s $800M Adaptation Finance Announcement

Experts & Advocates React to Kerry's $800M Adaptation Finance Announcement

John Kerry has just announced that the United States will double its grant-based, public climate finance for adaptation by 2020, from $400 million to $800 million by 2020. This money will be used to help vulnerable countries protect themselves from the effects of climate change—impacts that are already present at 1˚C of warming, and are only expected to get worse as carbon pollution continues.

This commitment comes as countries work to hash out the fine points of a global, comprehensive climate agreement, in which finance has been a key issue. Developed countries have agreed to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 from private and public sources, which are intended to support mitigation, adaptation, and transparency actions.


Rachel Lamb, National Organizer and Spokesperson, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action

“As evangelicals we are concerned about the way that climate change is disproportionately affecting the poor and vulnerable within our own country, and around the world. We are grateful for President Obama’s commitment to the Green Climate Fund and the targeted support it would lend to those most in need. Innovative finance strategies that help mitigate the harmful effects of climate change in the lives of our global neighbors will continue to be a critical necessity. As young people, we are looking to our own policymakers here in the United States to lead this global effort with boldness and creativity.”

Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith

“Increasing our commitment to protect the most vulnerable is the right thing to do, deeply consistent with our moral values. Faith communities support this. We’ll let Congress we support it. And, we’ll push for continuing, increasing support for this vital cause.”

Susan Stephenson, Executive Director, Interfaith Power and Light

“We are encouraged by the secretary’s increased commitment to support the most vulnerable nations in adapting to unavoidable impacts of climate change and to invest in clean energy solutions.”

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Jon Powers, Iraq War Veteran and Managing Director of Public Sector Business Development, Bloom Energy, formerly Special Advisor on Energy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Installations, Energy & Environment, and Chief Operating Officer at the Truman National Security Project

“These steps increase our national security by ensuring the populations at risk of becoming future threats have the resources needed to address both the root causes and also the consequences of climate change.”

“It is important that we not squander this opportunity to design climate adaptation financing to do the most possible to help societies steer clear of the climate-triggered humanitarian crises that now plague our world. Getting enough money on the table is only part of the solution. Directing that money in support of safe adaptation pathways is just as crucial.”


Dr. Nick Watts, Head of Project/Lead Author, Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change

“Climate change is undermining the viability of health systems around the world, and overwhelming their capacity to protect our patients’ health. Climate-related disasters are causing the increasingly frequent breakdown of health infrastructure worldwide, and this is taking its toll in human lives. Finance to strengthen these systems and better prepare the health workforce to tackle the effects of a changing climate is a crucial step forward.”


Mohamed Adow, Senior Climate Advisor at Christian Aid

“It is welcome to see rich countries at these talks stepping forward to provide practical support which will make a real difference to some of the poorest people facing droughts, floods, sea level rise and extreme weather events. This shows that countries are engaging with each other and rich nations are listening to the needs of the poorest. Starting to deliver on previous finance commitments will build trust between countries at this crucial juncture. This will hopefully now start a snowball effect with other rich countries potentially following suit.”

Helen Mountford, Program Director, New Climate Economy

A strong and equitable finance package will help lead to a successful Paris Agreement. The announcement by Secretary Kerry is very welcome. Public support like this from developed countries is essential to leverage private sector finance and complement domestic resources. At the same time, we should look beyond the $100 billion commitment on climate finance to the trillions being spent on infrastructure investment: That is where there is a real opportunity for and climate-resilient future.

Andrew Steer, President and CEO, WRI

“The doubling of public commitments for adaptation is a very helpful development as we head into the final days in Paris. These funds will increase the total pot of climate finance available to support vulnerable countries and shows the U.S. commitment to reach a strong outcome. Climate finance is a sensible investment to increase resilience and reduce instability abroad. As he has done many times in his distinguished career, Secretary Kerry is showing a steadfast commitment to tackling the climate challenge. We are entering crunch time. All countries should come together in a spirit of solidarity to achieve as strong an agreement as possible.”

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists

“In his speech today, Secretary Kerry sounded the right notes on urgency and the need for much greater ambition in coming to grips with the climate crisis. The announcement of additional support for vulnerable countries to take action to cope with the mounting impacts of climate change is especially welcome, and comes at a key point in the Paris climate negotiations. The prize of an ambitious, comprehensive, and effective long-term climate agreement is within our grasp, if compromises can be found on the remaining crunch issues. Secretary Kerry has long been a leader on the climate issue and his leadership will be needed more than ever over the remaining days of the climate talks here in Paris.”