International financing for climate change adaptation in small island developing states

Stacy-Ann Robinson, Matthew Dornan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Small island developing states (SIDS) are among the most vulnerable in the world to the impacts of climate change. SIDS have prioritised adaptation to climate change as it is widely accepted that some climate change is inevitable. Given the high cost of adaptation and the financial constraints faced by SIDS, many have pursued international adaptation financing to meet adaptation costs and ease domestic constraints. This paper analyses international adaptation financing commitments to SIDS across multiple regions between 2010 and 2014. It has three aims. First, it identifies trends in this financing from Members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to SIDS. Second, using a multivariate regression model, it identifies the determinants of this financing to SIDS, compared to other developing countries. Third, it elicits the perspectives of policy-makers in SIDS on their experience with international adaptation financing to date. This study finds that (1) the allocation of funding and donor commitments to SIDS is highly skewed, (2) whether a country is classified as a SIDS is a determinant of the amount of adaptation financing it can expect to receive—other determinants include population, per capita income, governance quality and vulnerability, depending on how it is conceptualised and measured, and (3) SIDS are dissatisfied with the current levels of international adaptation financing and their experience with accessing it. This paper concludes that, while international adaptation flows have not been sufficient, SIDS have not been disadvantaged in their access to such financing over the period, compared to other developing countries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1103-1115
    JournalRegional Environmental Change
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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