The Adaptation Agenda at Durban

COP16 plenary

Climate negotiations got off to a strong start with calls for real progress on adaptation being a theme during the opening statements. The urgency of adaptation increased given the rocky start on the mitigation agenda as reports surfaced that Canada appears likely to confirm its withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol by the end of the year. Further, the seemingly intractable stalemate between developed and developing nations, particularly the unwillingness of the U.S. and China to commit to reductions before the other does, remains in full force.


Against this backdrop, more effort is being directed toward achieving effective adaptation programs. Last year at the Cancun negotiations, delegates adopted the Cancun Adaptation Framework, which seeks to address adaptation with the same level of priority as mitigation. Expectations at Durban include advancing National Adaptation Planning (NAPs) Guidelines and getting the UNFCCC’s new Adaptation Committee up and running. Numerous adaptation-related events are taking place and can be monitored through sites such as the Adaptation Hub and UNFCCC. A few events do include direct consideration of the private sector, such as:

"Adaptation, Risk Reduction & Insurance," hosted by the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative

"Public-Private Partnerships: Promoting inclusive, equitable, and gender-sensitive climate finance," hosted by the United Nations Development Programme

"Linkages between green economy measures, trade and climate change," hosted by the World Trade Organization

"Green technology and China’s climate adaptation: toward a low carbon society," hosted by Xiamen University

The Global Adaptation Institute’s Dr. Bruno Sanchez-Andrade Nuño will be attending many events in the coming days and will be reporting here. Stay tuned!