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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Greenhouse 2009

CSIRO Publishing has released a book containing papers from the Greenhouse 2009 conference that was held last year in Perth, Australia. A complete list of the book's contents are available here. I managed to get some of my own work into the book including Chapter 17: Managing Climate Risk in Human Settlements (with Robert Kay) and Chapter 19: A Critical Look at the State of Adaptation Planning (with Richard Westaway).

The book is available from multiple outlets including CSIRO Publishing and Amazon.

2010 International Climate Change Adaption Conference

I've arrived in the Gold Coast, Australia for the 2010 International Climate Change Adaption Conference, which may prove to be one of the largest gatherings of the impacts, adaptation and vulnerability research community to date. Details on all conference events and presentations can be found in the conference handbook.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fast Start Finance

For those interested in fast start finance efforts under the Copenhagen Accord, ClimateWorks has prepared a publication under Project Catalyst identifying a number of prioritisation criteria for the allocation of the limited funds pledged to date as well as principles for their effective delivery.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Online Development Community

The Center for Sustainable Development has launched an "Online Development Community" featuring a series of networks for knowledge sharing. In addition to one focusing on climate adaptation (which so far appears to be the most popular), networks are also available for a range of other development topics, from water to governance.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Blue Revolution

The Copenhagen Climate Council and Monday Morning have published a report on adaptation and water. The report highlights the lack of attention to the practical aspects of climate adaptation at the local level within international climate negotiations. The authors (Torkil Jønch Clausen and Carsten Bjerg) argue that it is time to move beyond discussing how much adaptation is needed and who will pay for it and begin focusing on the implementation of solutions and overcoming adaptation challenges. Furthermore, water, they argue, is the overarching issue for adaptation, particularly in the developing world.

Adaptation Fund Board Meeting

The tenth meeting of the Adaptation Fund Board will take place in Bonn, Germany on June 15 and 16, 2010. Documents for the meetings, including the meeting agenda are now available from the AFB website.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Climate Adaptation in the Big Apple

The New York City Panel on Climate Change has completed its work on climate change adaptation in the iconic city. The panel was convened in 2008 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as part of the PlanNYC sustainability strategy. The resulting report presents climate change projections for NYC, potential impacts to the metropolis, and recommended adaptation responses and information needs to address knowledge gaps. While the report identifies a large number of potential options to facilitate adaptation in the Big Apple, as always, one must wait to see how many of these options are actually implemented. Fortunately, and to its credit, the panel discusses both the need for ongoing monitoring of climate change, impacts and adaptation as well as possible indicators that might be used to undertake such monitoring.

Local Action on Climate Change

For those interested in climate adaptation activities at the local scale, two recent events may be of interest:

1. Dunkerque 2010 Call on Climate Action

Local and regional governments gathering under the framework of the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Conference collectively agreed to a series of requests relevant to climate adaptation with a particular emphasis on highlighting the valuable role of local governments in adaptation.

2. Bonn Declaration

Mayors who gathered at the recent 1st Congress on Cities and Adaptation: Resilient Cities 2010 unanimously adopted the Bonn Declaration, which states that global partnerships between national and local governments are critical for success in adapting to climate change.

International Action on Adaptation and Climate Change

As part of all the action in Bonn for the current climate change talks, the WWF and Germanwatch have prepared a briefing paper on international climate change adaptation policy.


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.