Tag: adaptation

CAN Submission: The adaptation framework and the role of the adaptation committee, February 2011


The Adaptation Framework and the role of the Adaptation Committee 
The adoption of the Cancun Adaptation Framework provides an important step forward for treating adaptation 
under the Convention in a more coherent, consistent and effective manner.  
CAN International sees the agreement to establish the Adaptation Committee as an important basis to increase 
the effectiveness and coherence of adaptation work in the UNFCCC process. Based on the best available 
knowledge, science and experience, it should play a key role to promote synergy and coherence as well as to 
facilitate the effective implementation of the Cancun Adaptation Framework and to provide clear 
recommendations to fill identified gaps in support...

Balanced Funding for Adaptation

ECO is concerned that the small adaptation finance cake that is currently on offer leaves developing countries fighting over crumbs. Consider, however, that the best strategy against starvation is to increase the food 
Countries regarding themselves particularly vulnerable should be clear and firm: adaptation finance must not be a small proportion of total flows compared to mitigation.
At least 50% of the new climate fund’s resources should be reserved for adaptation. ECO remains optimistic that Parties will agree to establish the fund here and clarify the sources to feed it.

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Guideposts for these Days of Decision

Ministers, it’s ECO again. May we have a few moments with you? Yes, you guessed it – right here in your hands is our clean and manageable list of key decisions for the remainder of the week.
We’ve heard that you feel there are too many choices and papering over the differences in the negotiations might be the best achievable for the moment. But 
remember, that trick only works once.
A high level political statement by itself will not cut it. We need a real agreement in Cancun, not a repeat of Copenhagen’s climate shame. No magic moment is going to arrive when the hard choices become easy. But the path to achievement is just steps away.
ECO is wondering what is going on in the Shared Vision negotiations. We heard whispers of much needed improvements, such as the recognition of the need to reduce atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to no more than 350 ppm and limit global temperature rise to 1.5° C, as well as the acknowledgement of historical responsibility and the link between human rights and climate change related actions.
All these elements must be included for a clear and robust shared vision that reflects our collective intention to ensure a liveable planet for us and for future generations.
But Ministers, ECO is going blue in the face! How many more times do we have to say ‘Gigatonne Gap’ before it 
finally sinks in? As UNEP affirmed in its authoritative report, there is a significant gap between the emissions pledges set forth in Copenhagen and the reductions the planet actually needs by 2020 to limit warming to 2° C, much less the 1.5° needed to avoid severe and even catastrophic impacts.
Yet the latest version of the Mitigation text contains no acknowledgement of the Gigatonne Gap, nor does it set forth a timely process to close it. A legitimate outcome in Cancun must explicitly provide the pathway to increased ambition.
ECO also calls on parties to anchor the pledges currently on the table so that commitments and actions can be strengthened over the next year before inscribing them in legally binding form in South Africa.
ECO is pleased that the MRV text has evolved in the past week from an empty 36-word shell to a real basis for negotiation.  
But there’s a long way to go. The tables have turned here in Cancun and we’re finally hearing more about the need for enhanced MRV provisions for Annex I countries, including common accounting rules, as well as MRV of finance using a common reporting format.
This is only right – the United States and other developed countries have been calling for increased transparency for developing countries but have been shy about improving their own.
Establishing a Technology Mechanism and creating an operational Technology Executive Committee (TEC) is well within the remit here.
Unfortunately, the USA has been blocking progress on the TEC and CTCN discussions and negotiators are planning to kick many elements into the long grass, such as reporting lines and the link to the financial mechanism. This would be dangerous as it would leave too many issues to be dealt with during 2011.
The draft text is virtually content free when it comes to creating an operational framework for new, radically scaled-up, focused and integrated Capacity 
The stocktaking needs to clarify whether developed countries intend to take 
capacity building seriously (that is, on par with finance and technology), or whether they are happy enough just to leave it behind as crumbs in the corner.
On International Transport, the COP must guide ICAO and IMO in taking effective action to reduce emissions quickly, create a framework for these sectors to fairly contribute funds to mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, and ensure no net incidence of impacts on developing countries.
On Adaptation, a Cancun decision must launch the committee to oversee technical and coordinating provisions for adaptation under the Convention. Further, response measures does not have a place under the adaptation agenda. The resources available for adaptation should not be use as compensation for the loss on oil revenue as a result of mitigation action.
By the end the week decisions on 
Financing must be taken to establish a climate fund under the guidance and 
authority of the COP, along with a process to clarify the scale of this fund and guarantee sufficient resources for adaptation, along with the mechanisms and instruments to generate the required revenue flows.
We have heard that some developed countries are raising doubts about their ability to contribute to a fund under the UNFCCC due to constitutional or other legal impediments. These are simply tactical maneuvers to delay a decision, 
using the fund as a bargaining chip to get concessions from developing countries on other issues such as international consultations and analysis.
Negotiations on the Flexible Mechanisms are (unsurprisingly) facing difficulty, including even which text should be used.
However, at least two things should be done. First, the loopholes in existing mechanisms must be closed now. A primary example is surplus AAUs. Second, relevant principles should be set for further negotiations in LCA. If any new mechanisms are to be discussed going forward, they must go beyond offsetting. And they have to close the Gigaton gap, not widen it. Other important principles should also be set such as preventing double counting, supplementarity and contribution to sustainable development.
A very disturbing development is that the option for keeping CCS out of  the Clean Development Mechanism has vanished from the draft text being forwarded to the CMP. At the very least, SBSTA must address the creation of perverse incentives for increased  dependence on fossil fuels.
On land and forests, the message is simple but let’s say it again: Close the loopholes!
With respect to legal form, ECO calls on Parties to establish open and transparent processes to discuss their proposals, both now and after Cancun. Likewise, just as the Berlin Mandate provided clarity on legal form to the negotiating process that resulted in the Kyoto Protocol, Parties should agree mandates at Cancun to confirm the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol as well as a legally binding outcome in the LCA and set them up for adoption at COP 17 in South Africa. 

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Adaptation: End Game

It’s vital this week to make progress on mitigation matters. But don’t forget that for a large proportion of the world’s population, adaptation is vital too – and the slower large emitters move on mitigation, the greater the importance of adaptation.
There are two key issues that should progress this week. Current emission pledges are steering us towards a world where temperatures could, within this century, reach 4o C above pre-industrial levels.
The implications are dire: there will be unavoidable impacts resulting from environmental changes that cannot be prevented nor adapted to. They include sea-level rise, glacial retreat, ocean acidification, large scale loss of biodiversity, and land and forest degradation.
These impacts will leave the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities with destroyed homes, livelihoods and natural resources, and lead to large areas of the world becoming uninhabitable.
These are two key issues that have eluded agreement so far in the adaptation negotiations. First, this week Parties must agree a mandate for work towards enhanced understanding of loss and damage, with a work programme, including workshops, to develop the modalities of the mechanism, leading toward approval at COP17.
Another key issue is to ensure that the text only refers to adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change. We welcome the removal of response measures in Chapter II (Adaptation) of the LCA Chair’s most recent text (CRP.2).  Response measures relates to the adverse impacts of climate change mitigation, for example, decreased GDP in oil producing countries as a result of decreased oil consumption following a shift to low carbon economies.  This should not soak up funds needed to protect those who are most at risk from climate change.
Because of the clear difference between these two issues, it is not appropriate to include response measures in adaptation – especially as they are already addressed appropriately in the mitigation text (Chapter III, Section F). Developed countries will not deliver adaptation funding for the Adaptation Framework unless response measures are kept out of the adaptation text.  
In this area of the negotiations at least, the right choices will produce a simple and direct way to protect all people, especially those most exposed to dangerous climate change.

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[VOICE] Climate Change Strikes Ethiopia

Climate change is affecting the lives of many, especially those that are highly vulnerable, like Africa, Small Island States and Least developed countries. A recent report on the Climate Change Vulnerability Index, released by global risks advisor firm, Maplecroft, has confirmed that Ethiopia is one of the countries with an extreme risk to be affected by climate change.

Impacts of climate change are being felt in different parts of the country already. There are more erratic and heavy rainfalls with short rainy seasons. Vulnerable countries such as Ethiopia have low adaptive capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change or none. In order to take any actions on climate change first we need to understand the problems by consulting with the affected people and find the best adaptive measures, as indigenous knowledge is very crucial.In Ethiopia, development interventions by different NGOs play an important role by providing resources for adaptation to climate change whose capacity needs to be enhanced. Therefore, it is very important to take lessons from this kind of practices and their impacts for developing and promoting proven and acceptable adaptation strategies.

In Ethiopia’s case, pastoral communities are among the most vulnerable groups who are affected by climate change. Borena zone in the southern part of the country is one of the chronic drought prone areas with underdeveloped infrastructure, harsh, and unpredictable environment. Due to these reasons, the zone has faced increased frequency of seasonal droughts, erratic and insufficient rainfall and flash floods. In turn it has led to feed and water scarcity, bush encroachment, food shortage, migration and human and livestock diseases.

Some of the interventions that the Federal and Regional governments have been undertaking include; range rehabilitation, asset protection, livelihood diversification and the productive safety-net and humanitarian interventions (during emergency situations). Non-governmental organizations have also been supporting the pastoral community through the implementation of projects aiming at ecological restoration, range rehabilitation, social protection and managing disaster risks. However, given the severity of the problem, much remains to be done by taking into consideration the added burden from the impacts of climate change on pastoral assets-livestock, water and pasture.

The major problem faced by this community includes rangeland degradation in the form of bush encroachment (invasion of species), poor pasture and feed scarcity. In order to enhance the management of rangelands, a local NGO operating in the area, Action for Development, has been engaged in bush clearing and water development projects and drought response measures such as destocking, supplementary livestock feeding, water rationing, and emergency livestock health services which has marked a change in the condition of the rangelands (particularly pasture), and in the health and productivity of the livestock. The water development interventions have increased the access to water and guarantee water availability and reduced the workload of women and the stress of livestock and herders from traveling long distance to access water. Since all the interventions were instrumental it ensured the feeling of community ownership and sustainability of water provision among the target communities. 

In order to make ongoing and future development interventions climate resilient these good practices need to be scaled up by empowering the local communities and institutions. Therefore, Parties who are negotiating in Cancun need to take actions now and make serious mitigation and financial commitments so that communities in vulnerable countries better adapt to climate change by scaling up good practices.

Mahlet Eyassu



Climate Change is about survival as well as the right to development. Across Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean, people are facing compounded loss of biodiversity, food insecurity, water shortages, extreme weather conditions, increase in sea level…just to mention a few examples.

The coastal villages in Ghana, the communities living along the bank of the Volta River, dammed at Akosombo are now refuges in their own country. The young kids have to walk several miles searching for water and the list continues…

Here in Cancún, governments will have to go beyond the “business as usual” approach and focus on addressing the root causes of GHG emissions in order to set forward a bold pathway to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding outcome to save mother Earth and allow all the people, particularly children, women and youth to live a life worth living.

The key challenge in Cancún is to continue the process of constructing a strong foundation for a meaningful long term-global action.

Climate sustainability addresses poverty, inequality and environmental degradation through relevant strategies for mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology sharing.

Governments must demonstrate political will and embrace the two track approach: the Convention & Kyoto Protocol for a successful CANCUN outcome. Major long term achievements are needed. CANCUN should be the place where those responsible for climate change commit to reduce greenhouse gases to ensure a sustainable future.

Samuel Dotse

Southern Capacity Building Program Fellow


Lessons from Year 1 of Fast Start Finance

It’s the end of the first year of the Fast Start Finance (FSF) learning period.  
Already it’s clear that vital lessons must be discerned and addressed in decisions here in Cancun on long-term finance. There are three key lessons, so please take note.  
First, the balance between adaptation and mitigation must be defined.  Despite the commitment in the Copenhagen Accord to ‘balanced allocation’ between 
adaptation and mitigation, more than 80% of FSF has been allocated to mitigation.  Worse still, it is estimated that less than 10% of major dedicated public climate funds to date (including FSF) have been allocated to adaptation (climatefundsupdate.org).
This is only the latest episode in the history of adaptation being the poor cousin of mitigation. We cannot afford to wait any longer to close the ‘adaptation gap’.  We need to establish a fair climate fund that guarantees at least 50% of resources are allocated to adaptation.
Second, the ‘new and additional’ problem isn’t going to go away.  There isn’t a shared definition of ‘new and additional’ and some seem to hope there never will be.  That’s not good enough.  The problem will come back to haunt us every year until a common definition is agreed.  As discussions over long-term scaled up finance intensify, so too will concerns about the amount of money being diverted from development aid to climate finance.
To address this, the mandate of the Standing Committee on Climate Finance (the body charged with oversight of financing flows) should be mandated to propose a common framework for the additionality of long-term finance to be adopted by the COP.
Third, the role of loans needs far greater clarity.  We know a large proportion of financing is being channelled as loans – 52% in the case of the EU, for example. That’s bad enough – countries should not have to get into debt to adapt to climate change that they didn’t cause.
But what’s worse is that Parties haven’t even agreed how to account for the loans provided. Germany, for example, initially counted only the grant equivalent of its loans, whilst France accounted for the full gross value. To be fair, Germany has now reversed their approach.  Clarity is needed to confront these diverging approaches.  To start with, the Standing Committee should have a mandate to propose a common framework for use of loans in long-term financing.
It is crucial to apply these lessons to the development and deployment of long-term climate financing.

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[VOICE] Climate Change and Bangladesh: Adaptation planning to address Impacts and Vulnerabilities

Bangladesh is expected to be the most vulnerable country in the world in next 30 years mainly because of its exposure to climate-related natural disasters and sea-level rise; human sensitivity in terms of population growth and pattern, development, natural resources, agricultural dependency and conflicts; in adequate adaptive capacity to combat climate change (Maplecroft, 2010). In fact, multiple hazards instigated by various climatic factors including temperature variation, erratic rainfall, flood and recurrent flood, cyclone and storm surge, drought, saline intrusion coupled with social or non-climate factors (such as population density and poverty) are already affecting the many parts of country especially in the coastal region, north-west and low-lying areas.  

The Government of Bangladesh realizing the consequences of the climate change has made striking progress in terms of policy, strategy and institutional arrangement. Following allocation of 100 million USD in 2008 and 2009 together to bring adaptation and mitigation actions on the ground, the country recently established Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) and approved another 100 million USD for 2010/2011 to implement the projects and programmes under six major themes (i. Food security, social protection and health ii. Comprehensive Disaster Management iii. Infrastructure iv. Research and knowledge management v. mitigation and low carbon development and vi. Capacity building and institutional strengthening) of the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP). This fund will be managed and implemented by the government and technical support will be provided by the World Bank to facilitate that the requirements are met in the implementation process. A governing council and a management committee chaired by the government will be the apex bodies to manage the fund. However, representatives of the line ministries, development partners and civil society will be included in both the council and management committee. In addition, a policy titled “Climate Change Trust Fund Policy” has been developed by the Cabinet as part of an integrated plan to face disaster due to climate change in the country.

The government also officially launched the “Climate Change Unit” under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in June 2010. At this stage, the CCU is headed by the Joint Secretary, MoEF. The unit will be equipped with 9 senior officers and 33 staff. National level experts will also be recruited as advisors to strengthen the unit and make it better functional. The MOEF and CCU have already approved 66 projects for implementation in vulnerable coastal zone, drought prone area, flood and low lying ecosystem, hilly and haor area, and charlands covering mainly water, agriculture, forestry, infrastructure, health, capacity building sectors etc. Some of the projects are approved for conducting action research and institutional strengthening. However, most of these projects will be implemented by the different relevant government institutions. Some of the projects will be implemented by NGO or Civil Society Organizations at both national and local level. 


Oxfam: UN report shows climate funds can be raised without costing the taxpayer

A new report from the UN’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF) shows that raising the public money to help poor countries protect themselves from climate change is possible without costing the taxpayer, Oxfam told the UK government today.

“This report clearly shows that money to tackle climate change and help poor communities adapt can be raised without dipping into taxpayers’ pockets. The next step is for political leaders to lay out a clear roadmap for making this funding a reality.” said Tracy Carty, Oxfam Climate Change Policy Advisor.

The AGF was established by the UN Secretary General in February 2010 to advise on how developed countries could deliver on their promise to raise $100bn per year to help poor countries adapt to a changing climate and reduce emissions.

The sources of money identified in the report must now be championed by Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and other members of the AGF group.

“Clear backing from the UK Government will be essential for fair levies on uncapped emissions in international shipping and aviation and a Robin Hood Tax on banks with money earmarked for climate change. But in order to do so the UK must urgently clarify its position on these crucial sources of public finance identified in the AGF report.” said Carty.

Countries meeting at the UN climate change talks in Cancun later this month must now establish a global climate fund to manage this money and agree a process for deciding how they will finance it by the next climate summit in South Africa in 2011. By using these innovative sources, governments can raise enough money from public sources without siphoning from existing development aid money. As some members of the UN panel recognized, private finance cannot meet the needs of developing countries for adaptation.

Carty said: “The $100bn committed to in the Copenhagen Accord must come from public sources of funding rather than private to ensure it reaches communities desperately in need of money to help them adapt to climate change and develop in a low carbon way.”

Oxfam warned that the report’s inclusion of the World Bank as a potential finance source should not be used to undermine international negotiations on the establishment of a new, independent global climate fund that is fair and accessible. For the fund to be effective poor countries must have a say in decisions on how the money is managed and at least half of the funding should address climate change impacts on the most vulnerable.

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