With barely six months left before countries have to clinch a climate change deal in Copenhagen in December , a call for more money – over and above development aid – to help poor countries adapt to climate change has been backed by a major report. The report – Closing the Gaps: Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change in Developing Countries – is the work of the international Commission on Climate Change and Development (CCCD), set up in 2008 by the Swedish government and chaired by Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden’s Minister for international development cooperation.
The first in its two-step approach urged rich countries to speedily mobilise US$1 billion to $2 billion to help nations most vulnerable to the impact of global warming: low-income small island states and, particularly, African countries. [...] The second step is an effective mechanism for funding adaptation that would be created through climate negotiations.
The Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by rich countries and other public funds “are unlikely to provide the full resources required to finance adaptation efforts of all developing countries in the long term”, the CCCD commented. The global economic recession is also likely to shrink available funding.
[...] Under the “polluter pays” principle, industrialised countries are obliged to help developing ones adapt to climate change, but developing countries and environmental lobby groups have been wary of much needed ODA being repackaged to pay for adaptation.
[...] “Adaptation is much more than climate-proofing development efforts and ODA,” said the report. “It requires sustainable development: meeting the needs of the present in ways that do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their need.”
The report noted that ODA totalled $104 billion in 2007, and the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated that more than 60 percent of ODA could be considered as relating to adaptation. “Obviously, increasing ODA would both provide funds for climate-proofing development assistance and increase funding for adaptation. The appropriate role of ODA in supporting climate adaptation needs to be articulated.” However, Oxfam’s Hill said adaptation cost estimates should take account of the most recent scientific assessments, which showed that previous estimates were dramatically low. “The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has estimated that between $50 billion and $170 billion per year (in current values) will be needed by the year 2030.”
The authors noted that “This is only a twentieth of current spending on development of new infrastructure globally, and a tenth of the expected cost of emissions reductions.”
Source: IRIN, 19 May 2009