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Following the money: climate adaptation finance in the Marshall Islands

Authors
  • Incerti, Nina
  • Barnett, Jon
Type
Published Article
Journal
Environmental Research Letters
Publisher
IOP Publishing
Publication Date
Apr 12, 2024
Volume
19
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ad383e
Source
ioppublishing
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Letter
License
Unknown

Abstract

The significant body of research on the distribution of international finance for climate change adaptation shows that it is not well correlated to the vulnerability of countries. Vulnerability differs greatly within countries as well, yet very few studies examine subnational flows of adaptation finance. Here, we present evidence of the subnational allocation of international adaptation finance within the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The RMI is a highly salient case as it is a small island developing state comprised solely of low-lying atolls that is both in need of and a recipient of adaptation finance. We describe patterns of adaptation finance in the RMI between 2015 and 2019 based on analysis of a comprehensive government database of bilateral and multilateral aid projects. We find that flows of adaptation finance were heavily skewed towards a small number of large-scale civil works projects in urban areas funded by multilateral institutions. Rural areas attracted smaller scale projects funded largely by bilateral donors. The overall distribution of adaptation finance across islands is highly sporadic, with hotspots of activity and areas of neglect. Our results suggest the allocation of adaptation finance to the RMI is insufficient relative to needs, poorly coordinated, and fails to reach places where it is most needed.

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