Adaptation: End Game

7 December 2010

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.

Support CAN

Help us build power in the climate movement by contributing a one-time or recurring donation that will go to supporting our global work as well as various activities and campaigns in communities in different regions.

Donate to CAN

Stay informed

Subscribe to receive monthly updates on the latest on the climate movement including the content from across the network, upcoming climate change events, news articles and opinion pieces on climate, straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our newsletter