The adaptation fund after Poznan

The decision on the Adaptation Fund was one of the most notable outcomes of the Poznan climate conference in December 2008. The Adaptation Fund is a finance mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol with an innovative structure, funded by a market-based mechanism. The Poznan conference intended to remove remaining obstacles for the Adaptation Fund to become operational. A key problem is facilitating the concept of “direct access” to the fund whilst ensuring financial responsibility for the use of the funds. Besides adopting arrangements for the governance of the Adaptation Fund, a potential change of the legal status of the Adaptation Fund was a controversial issue. The article analyses the background and legal implications of the Poznan decision for the structure and operation of the Adaptation Fund, in particular with regard to legal capacity. It concludes that the wording, context and background of the decision show that the decision refers to functionally limited legal capacity at domestic level. This requires further steps by at least one party in order to confer such legal capacity on the Adaptation Fund Board in its domestic law.

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