Tag: adaptation

CAN Submission on Adaptation Communications, March 2017

Under the Paris Agreement Article 7, Parties agreed to establish the global goal on adaptation for enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development and ensuring an adequate adaptation response in the context of the temperature goal. Furthermore, Parties stressed that adaptation action should follow a “country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on  and guided by the best  available science and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions.”

The Paris Agreement and decision 1/CP.21 stipulate that adaptation communications should serve as one of the inputs to the global stocktake and define the overall scope as well as the communication and recording process for adaptation communications. The adaptation communication is referred to in the context of the global stocktake as contributing to enhancing the implementation of adaptation action taking into account the adaptation communication, as a source of input to be identified by the APA for the global stocktake, that includes information on the state of adaptation efforts, support, experiences and priorities from, and also reflecting the submitting Party’s priorities, implementation and support needs, and plans and actions.

Climate Action Network would like to submit our views on elements for adaptation communications, highlighting the following as key aspects network members consider necessary for providing accurate and updated information on climate adaptation, which will contribute effectively to the global stocktake.


CAN-Bond Joint Submission on the Strategic Workstream on Loss and Damage Action and Support, February 2017

Climate Action Network International (CAN) and Bond Development and Environment Group welcome the call by COP 22 to propose possible activities for the five-year rolling work plan of the Executive Committee. This submission outlines proposed activities for the specific strategic workstream on enhancing action and support, including finance, technology and capacity-building, as mandated by decision 3/CP.22.

The founding document of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM), agreed at COP 19 in 2013, identified the facilitation and mobilisation of support as a priority. The first three years of the WIM focused on its other functions of: a) enhancing knowledge; and, b) strengthening dialogue and coordination. Thereby the WIM laid important groundwork, on which key conclusions for the way forward still need to be drawn. However, now it is time to address the more difficult areas which have lacked attention, including e.g. climate-related migration, but in particular action and support. In light of the growing loss and damage actually happening, we propose that the WIM should treat finance as a priority for the coming two years - dedicating as much time and resources to the finance (support) workstream as to the other work streams combined. The ExCom should identify the objectives and key activities to reach across 2017 and 2018 as outlined below. Though the 5-year work plan is expected to run into 2021, CAN regards it as crucial to make an ambitious start and deliver activities which make a difference on the ground as soon as possible, and not only by 2021.  

Whilst estimates of loss and damage finance needs vary, it is clear that needs are already high and likely to grow. Studies indicate that by mid-century economic global losses and damages costs may exceed $1 trillion per year, with developing countries shouldering the majority of the burden. These loss and damage costs are on top of the costs of adaptation.[1] In this context, and given the WIM mandate to facilitate and mobilise support, the overall objective of this workstream should be to urgently generate finance from predictable, adequate and sustainable sources at a scale of billions of dollars to address loss and damage in developing countries before 2020, and growing after 2020, at a scale sufficient to address the problem over and above the finance provided for adaptation. This will require enhancing the understanding of the nature, types and scales of finance developing countries require. It should also lead to enhanced support for addressing loss and damage immediately and in the near-term, in particular for the poorest and most vulnerable populations.

We propose the following activities for the finance-related work stream as part of the 5-year rolling work plan. Where necessary, this may involve the work of other bodies such as the Standing Committee on Finance, however in an effective manner which does not slow down urgently needed progress on raising funds. Many of these activities should be kick-started as early as possible, at the forthcoming ExCom5 meeting (March 2017).


[A]daptation in the [A]DP

ECO would like to remind Parties that “adaptation to climate change” represents an immediate and urgent global priority. The 2015 agreement must make a significant contribution to deliver an adaptation approach that adequately responds to the immediate needs of, and future threats to, the most vulnerable developing countries and ecosystems. This can only be achieved if the agreement recognises that insufficient mitigation ambition directly increases adaptation needs as well as loss and damage.

The Cancun Adaptation Framework (CAF) has given adaptation a strong voice under the UNFCCC. For the 2015 agreement, Parties need to continue to pursue the CAF principles and this begins with a review of the CAF in light of what has been, and will be, delivered on the mitigation front. This directly determines adaptation needs.

The National Adaptation Plan process is one of the major elements of the CAF that should be part of the 2015 agreement. For that to be achieved, substantive progress on further development and implementation must be made well in advance of Paris.

ECO welcomes Parties’ proposal to include global adaptation goals in the 2015 agreement, especially on specific actions and finance.

Adaptation needs to be treated with the same priority as mitigation when it comes to finance and means of implementation. Do you remember when developer countries pledged USD$100 billion per annum by 2020 in Copenhagen? ECO does. Making $50 billion of public finance available must remain a key ask for developing countries and the steps towards achieving it should be taken NOW!


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The New Unnormal

“If not us, then who?  If not now, then when? If not here, then where?” Those words of Philippine lead negotiator Naderev Saño touched the hearts of all COP18 attendees in a powerful speech just one year ago, just after Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) struck the southeastern Philippines and killed more than 1000 people.

Who could imagine that just one year later this country would face the most powerful and strongest storm ever to touch land – Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), with a death toll that might surpass 10,000, and millions more affected?  These real losses of lives and physical damages occurred despite strenuous efforts to avoid such a disaster.  It points to a new world where there is no more normal.

ECO would like to express its solidarity with the Filipino people, and grief for those who are suffering  and those who died from this storm.  Haiyan appeared so magnificent in the photos from the space shuttle, and yet so utterly devastating to millions on the ground, and especially to girls and boys who lost their fathers and mothers, and to the parents who lost their children.

This monstrous storm scored an unthinkable 8.1 on the 8.0 Dvorak scale (causing consternation from meteorologists worldwide).  Yet it appears sea surface temperatures (SST) ahead of the storm, while above average, were not exceptionally high. 

Even small changes in SSTs dramatically amplifies these giant storms.  As the oceans continue to warm from the impact of greenhouse gas emissions, what will the years ahead bring to the nations and communities that already are the hardest hit?

The IPCC WG1 report, approved by the same governments sitting here in Warsaw, concluded that in a warmer world, extreme precipitation events over the mid-latitude land masses and over wet tropical regions will very likely be more intense and more frequent. We are creating a climate in which the Haiyan of today may be the ordinary unnormal storm of the future.

Last year’s typhoon was a wakeup call, and there have been many other extreme events in the following months. And the mainland region where Vietnam and China adjoin is now being pounded by the “remnants” of Haiyan that by any measure is still a very dangerous storm.  The Philippines itself may even be facing another five major storms during this season.

If 200 mph sustained winds aren’t a loud enough wakeup call, the world is going deaf.  In the coming days we will fully see the reality facing the most vulnerable regions – but we will also see their heroism and determination to rebuild stronger and safer.

In a story on Sun Star, the respected Philippines e-news site, the nationwide climate activist alliance Aksyon Klima Pilipinas stated, “The Warsaw conference should therefore produce real gains mainly in the form of more climate funds and less greenhouse gas emissions.”  

The question we lay before the Parties assembled in Warsaw is this: Are we going to stand with them and do all we must to help them?


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Local tourism, Dar es Salaam port under threat from rising seas

Tanzania’s two major sources of income - tourism and trade - could be hit hard by climate change, according to a new report released by the World Bank today. 
The report, Turn Down the Heat - Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience - takes an in depth look at what climate change means for Sub Saharan Africa. It compares the impacts on the region if warming continues at its current rate with impacts if governments successfully limit average global temperature rise to 2° Celsius.
While not removing the risk altogether, if temperature rise is kept under 2 degrees Celsius, and comprehensive plans to adapt communities to climate change are put in place, many of the worst impacts can be avoided.
However, even at 2°C, the sea could rise 70cm in Tanzania by the later third of this century, wreaking havoc with the port infrastructure at Dar es Salaam. The port, which serves not only Tanzania but its landlocked neighbors such as Uganda, Congo DRC, handles 95 per cent of the country’s international trade and is responsible for more than 10 per cent of the city’s GDP.
Also threatened by sea level rise, together with an expected increase in flooding and extreme weather events like cyclones, are Tanzania and Kenya’s coastal tourism infrastructure such as hotels and resorts - another key source of income for the region. 
According to the World Bank, most coastal areas have already reported an increase in yearly damage from tropical storms and floods. Additionally, Coral Reefs in Tanzania’s Indian Ocean are particularly vulnerable to bleaching - another drain on tourism income.
The jewel in Tanzania’s crown, Mt Kilimanjaro, is also expected to lose tourists as the mountain’s glacier continues to disappear as a result of the rapidly warming world. 
Across Sub Saharan Africa, poverty reduction efforts and economic growth could potentially slump in the region as crop yields drop and water access problems are exacerbated, Sixbert Mwanga, of Climate Action Network Tanzania, said.
“This report highlights the threat the climate change poses to the hard won gains in development we have made in this region in recent years,” Mwanga said. 
“Africa needs support from the international community to adopt a low carbon approach to development that is compatible with meeting the human rights and needs of its growing population.”
Climate change of 2°C will lead to worse health for many people across Sub Saharan Africa. An increase in undernourishment, childhood stunting, malaria and other diseases could impact the ability of children to receive an education.
Climate Action Network is calling on Tanzanian government to map a socio-economic transition plan to a low-carbon economy and community. “The government needs to secure a climate-resilient future for the people of Tanzania.”  
About CAN
Climate Action Network Tanzania (CAN-Tanzania) is a national network of over 65 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
For more information, please contact: Sixbert Mwanga, Coordinator CAN Tanzania 
Phone: +255717313660 

Climate change threatening South Asian development: World Bank

Climate change will overturn hard won gains in reducing poverty in South Asia as changing weather patterns make accessing water and food resources even more difficult, according to a new report released by the World Bank today. 
Extreme weather such as heat waves, devastating floods and droughts, and more intense tropical cyclones will hit the region with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan bearing the brunt of the climate impacts, according to new research. 
What the Report says about life in South Asia at 4C:
India: Devastating floods like the 2005 deluge in Mumbai which killed 500 and caused USD 1.7 billion in damage will be become twice as likely in the region. Dry areas will get drier and wet areas wetter. 
Bangladesh: Potentially the most vulnerable country in the region, with an increase in cyclones, extreme flooding and higher than average sea level rise all impacting  Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries of the world. The impacts of extreme flooding are expected to be at their worst at just 2.5C of warming. The salinisation of water and heat waves will lead to a reduction in crop yields, as well as the availability of drinking water, impacting the health and wealth of the population. 
Sri Lanka: Most vulnerable to unprecedented heat waves and coastal erosion which can impact tourism.
Maldives:   The islands are famously vulnerable to sea level rise - with 115cm expected by the end of the century.  This can be reduced to 80cm if temperature rise is kept under 2C. 
Pakistan: Most vulnerable to drought and extreme heat waves - if the world warms by an average of 4C, Pakistan’s average temperature will rise 6C. Also, flash flooding in the Indus Delta. 
Sanjay Vashist, Director of Climate Action Network South Asia said the report highlights the threat that climate change poses to the hard won gains in development made in this region in recent years. 
“South Asia needs support from the international community to adapt towards a low carbon approach to development that is compatible with meeting the human rights and needs of its growing population,” said Hina Lotia from LEAD Pakistan.
The report, Turn down the Heat - Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience - takes an in-depth look at what climate change means for South Asia. The report warns that even climate change of 2ºC will pose a “significant challenge to development” in the region.
“South Asia will require comprehensive plans to adapt communities to climate change with investments in infrastructure, flood defenses, and drought resistant crops are necessary,” said Ziaul Mukta from Oxfam GB 
He warned that if warming increased by 4ºC on average, rainfall patterns will be affected. Overall, dry areas like Northwestern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan - currently a major food producing area like Punjab in Pakistan and India, Tarai belt in Nepal and Northern parts of Bangladesh for the sub continent - will get dryer resulting in reduced crop production. While wet areas, like Southern India and parts of Bangladesh, will get wetter, leading to flooding and an increase in diseases.
Not only will climate change affect the provision of safe drinking water and water for agricultural irrigation, access to energy could become even more difficult as less water is available to run hydropower stations and cool other existing electricity stations. Only 62 per cent of the region’s population currently has access to electricity.
Heat waves will disproportionately impact the elderly and the urban poor. Events like the heat-wave in Andhra Pradesh, India, in May 2002 which caused 1,000 deaths in a single week as the mercury hit 51ºC will become much more common.
Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) is calling on South Asian governments to collaborate of initiating joint monitoring of the impacts and undertake joint actions to address the climate induced disasters. Since the sub-continent nations are dependent on shared natural resource ecosystems, much can be achieved through ‘Regional Cooperation’ among neighboring stakeholders.
About CAN
Climate Action Network – South Asia (CANSA) is a platform of 103 organisations across South Asia geared to redress policy divides and insufficient systematic scientific evidence & collective action. CANSA endeavors to compose policy solutions to bridge the gap between policies and practice among policy makers and civil society, and more importantly between the civil society organisations. In order to achieve this objective, CANSA envisages empowering through the improving knowledge and instilling skills for policy advocacy through platforms on experiential knowledge exchange in each country and among South Asian CSO partners, to frame common understanding on Climate Action. It is a regional node of Climate Action Network International (CANI) which a global network of over 850 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
Ms. Vositha Wijenayake
Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator
Climate Action Network South Asia

ADaPtation Is Important!

ECO listened carefully to yesterday’s roundtable on adaptation. The roundtable discussions brought forward new ideas and thinking on how adaptation can move ahead in the 2015 agreement in a way that adequately addresses escalating climate impacts. 

There seems to be consensus that adaptation will be a key pillar of the 2015 UNFCCC agreement.  Additionally, many Parties acknowledge that there cannot be a trade-off between mitigation and adaptation, and that without sufficient mitigation, many adaptation efforts will not be enough to cope with mounting impacts, and substantial loss and damage will thus be unavoidable.  While these statements are welcome, ECO asks whether Parties will really deliver the required paradigm shift towards climate resilient development.
We are starting to see some “out of the box” thinking, and a recognition that the 2015 agreement provides additional impetus for action. As the delegate from Uganda so eloquently stated, 2015 needs to mark a watershed for implementation – building, strengthening and fully putting into practice the institutions launched in Cancun.
Ideas from delegates included the possibility of a global benchmark or goal for adaptation, as well as the need to stir up action by other international and regional processes on adaptation. The Marshall Islands set out how national legislative action on adaptation could be counted towards developing country commitments under the ADP (ECO of course assumes that these could not be traded against legally-binding mitigation commitments). ECO was also pleased to hear several countries clearly state that they expect a loss and damage mechanism under the 2015 agreement.
ECO agrees that the ADP negotiations need to build on the work of recent years.  Good working relationships between the SBs and the Adaptation Committee will be crucial. But building on the existing landscape should not be confused with business as usual. The 2015 agreement needs to harvest and catalyse the political will needed to bring existing commitments and institutions to where they need to be, including through substantially scaled-up public finance for adaptation. 
ECO looks forward to further inspiration, ideas and critical reflection by delegates in the ADaPtation negotiations.
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Something has to happen!


COP 18 is another step in the climate change negotiations. There are a lot of expectations here and many issues need to be covered. Most importantly, a comprehensive decision has to be made in order to deliver what humanity needs in order to survive. This is something we hear all the time around climate change negotiations. The issue is that, if we need to repeat it, then there has not been any change.

For some countries, there is an economic interest conflict - a fear of losing money. For others, it is just a matter of survival- a loss of lives. We all will face the consequences, climate change doesn’t recognize differences. It will happen and we must take action.

Negotiators are convinced that they will find a solution. But, will this happen? Will they realize they are negotiating a way forward for everyone and not bargaining to get something? Will they stop putting the blame on each other?

Finance issues are crucial for this regime to move forward but recent statements from some parties are not very encouraging. This only diminishes the acknowledgement of any progress that could have happened.

Realistic mitigation efforts by developed countries have been due for a long time now. Some developing countries are being more proactive than developed countries. While this can be a good sign towards a future low carbon world, developed countries should do more in order to achieve what humanity needs.

Adaptation is crucial for all, but especially for those in developing countries, where there is lack of capacity to adapt to climate changes.

Being in a Doha Conference center, where everything is so scattered, where there seems to be empty rooms everywhere, it feels as though not much is happening. We hope that, in the next few days, delegates can work out ways to facilitate the process of ministers reaching agreements.


Thoughts from Ben, a CAN LDP fellow in Doha


(photo credit: IISD)

My name is Ben Namakin, and I come from the small island state of Kiribati in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This is a place in which, along with our other pacific islands neighbors, we contribute less than 0.001% to the global greenhouse gas emissions; sadly, we are currently paying the price for global emissions with rising sea levels, droughts and saltwater intrusion contaminating our groundwater.

Kiribati was the first place to ring in the new millennium in 2000 and will also likely be the first state to be shown on international news as being underwater. What steps should those in our region take? We may be small, but we are not insignificant.

I am fortunate to be a Leadership Development Program (LDP) fellow for CAN International, which gives me the opportunity to increase my knowledge and skills on the issues, especially at the United Nations negotiation level. We are doing as possible to adapt to climate change: raising awareness on the issues of our people, building sea walls to prevent coastal erosion, and working on other adaptation activities. Despite this work, we still need to make our voice be heard at international negotiations! We must express the concerns of vulnerable communities to the leaders of the world, who claim they make decisions on behalf of us. Here I would like to highlight those of the developed states.

I am here in Doha, Qatar with 7 LDP fellows from various parts of the world following the UNFCCC COP18 negotiations. We all come from the South, and represent the most vulnerable parts of the world to climate change impacts. Though few in numbers, we try to cover the different issues that most concern us, such as mitigation, equity, finance, sustainable development goals and adaptation.

My focus is on adaptation, given the situation faced by those of Kiribati today. We are indeed in need of support for adaptation mechanisms that will ensure the survival of my people. My expectations here concentrate mostly on the call for international mechanisms for loss and damage, for adaptation committees as well as developed countries raising their ambitions on both finance and mitigation.

I want us to leave Doha with an outcome in which the role of the adaptation committees is well arranged so that they will function appropriately. I would also like to see arrangements under loss and damages adopted with concrete mechanisms for all LDC countries, including easy access to funding mechanisms for implementing national adaptation plans. What we want out of this gathering in Doha is not pretext of commitment, but real commitment.

Lost Points and Damaged Text

Reading the current text, ECO is concerned that a possible Doha decision may miss the key, overarching points. First, in light of the lack of mitigation ambition, there is cause for grave concern. The low mitigation ambition will determine the level of loss and damage in the future. Second, this results in a high urgency to take action on all fronts of mitigation and adaptation, with the primary objective to reduce loss and damage as much as possible. ECO expects that those who have contributed most to the problem take the responsibility for support. Third, the key reason that vulnerable developing country Parties have put loss and damage on the agenda is the dire situation that the limits of adaptation will likely be surpassed in many regions. 

Addressing the impacts where adaptation will no longer be possible is crucial for this discussion. Because of this, the Convention must provide leadership in developing a global strategic response to address loss and damage. Parts of the required actions can be pursued through the existing institutions, such as the Adaptation Committee, the Nairobi Work Programme or the Least Developed Countries Expert Group. These bodies can carry out important activities relevant to addressing loss and damage. But, do any of these institutions have the mandate or capacity to explore the broader implications of lack of ambition in mitigation and the associated loss and damage?  Can they deal with situations such as permanent loss of land and livelihoods? Or, decide how to ensure that relevant policy processes work together? ECO does not think so.
Therefore it supports almost 100 developing countries’ call for an international mechanism to address loss and damage, which can be operated by making use of the work of the existing bodies. ECO expects that when the ministers are here, they would want to leave Doha with tangible results that show the world that these most vulnerable peoples and countries are not left alone. Stepping up the negotiating process in this area must be an element of the Doha package.
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