The Role of the 2015 Agreement in Enhancing Adaptation to Climate Change

The Role of the 2015 Agreement in Enhancing Adaptation to Climate Change / Jennifer Helgeson and Jane Ellis. Paris : OECD/IEA, May 2015, 59 p. (Climate Change Expert Group Paper No. 2015/1)

Executive summary :

Adaptation responses are needed to address existing levels of climate variability and change and to prepare for unavoidable climate impacts in the future. There is wide agreement that adaptation is an important issue and would benefit from being enhanced through more effective action and better planning. The prominence of adaptation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations has increased, in part as the scientific evidence has become clearer that the climate is already changing and its impacts are projected to grow in future. Efforts to enhance adaptation actions and increase resilience are thus expected to play a key role in the post-2020 climate agreement to be established at COP21 in December 2015.
Adaptation is the dynamic process of adjusting to actual or expected effects of climate change. This iterative process comprises several components, including gathering relevant data; assessing resilience, impacts and vulnerability; planning; implementing; monitoring and evaluating results. Adaptation and resilience are linked; adaptation builds social, ecological and economic resilience to the effects of climate change. This paper uses the term resilience to mean the ability of a system to recover from or
accommodate the effects of climate change-related events which may manifest through shocks to socio- economic systems. Parties have made several proposals about how the 2015 agreement could foster increased adaptation .
This paper explores the technical pros and cons of the ideas included in selected proposals or options, focusing on aspects that may help enhance policies and co-ordinated planning for national adaptation. The issues of loss and damage, and of increasing finance available for adaptation, though important, are not covered in this paper…


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