International action on adaptation and climate change: What roads from Copenhagen to Cancún?

Summary

Adaptation to the (uncertain) adverse impacts of climate change increasingly becomes a necessity across the globe. This is not for its own sake, but to ensure that sustainable development will be possible, that investments into poverty reduction, food and water security and health will not be undone and that progress achieved towards the Millennium Development Goals will not be reversed. 

This paper assesses the state of the adaptation negotiations under the UNFCCC after the historic climate summit of Copenhagen. It compares the current draft negotiating text (June 2010) and compares it to key essentials that an ambitious adaptation action framework needs to contain to assist developing countries live up to the challenge of adaptation. It further provides an assessment of the key unresolved negotiation issues and scenarios of possible outcomes at the next climate summit in Cancún. 

The current negotiating text still bears the opportunity to create a strong, implementation-focused adaptation action framework, but requires clarification and strengthening in issues which are key to particularly vulnerable countries. This includes a strong financial mechanism which provides predictable and adequate support, and the establishment of an international mechanism to address loss and damage from climate change impacts with the immediate operationalisation of an insurance mechanism to deal with high-level extreme weather events, amongst others.

Document type
Briefing Paper
Author(s)
Sven Harmeling, Sönke Kreft, Sandeep Chamling Rai, Kit Vaughan
Order number
10-2-06e
Pages
40
Publication date

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