The global COVID-19 recovery presented an exceptional opportunity for countries to integrate climate adaptation and resilience into a significant, yet unforeseen, increase in public spending in line with the Paris Agreement. While there have been efforts to analyze the “green” or mitigation components of country recoveries, none have systematically considered their integration of climate adaptation and resilience.

This paper improves our understanding of whether, and how, countries leveraged their COVID-19 recoveries to build climate resilience. It reveals the paradox that the most vulnerable countries, which were among the poorest in the sample, were the least likely to integrate climate adaptation into their COVID-19 recovery measures and provides a set of recommendations for the international community to better enable vulnerable countries to address physical climate risks.

This paper was jointly developed with the Global Resilience Partnership.