Last month, China was granted US$95 million to reduce its production of hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), substances that are used primarily for cooling, refrigeration, and the manufacture of foam products. The funding comes from the Multilateral Fund (MLF) of the Montreal Protocol, because HCFCs deplete the ozone layer and are controlled under the Protocol. With access to these funds, between now and 2015 China will reduce its production of HCFCs by 10%, or 47,000 metric tons from 2010 levels, allowing it to meet the first reduction targets set by the Protocol.
Adaptation is a key feature of sustainable social-ecological systems, as well as a recent and increasing focus of research and policy regarding responses to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. This article examines the meaning of adaptation and its relationship to the concepts of resilience, vulnerability and sustainability. It illustrates that, in many cases, societies ‘manipulate’ their social-ecological contexts rather than adapt to them.
European funding to help poor countries adapt to a changing climate is dropping remarkably at a time when it needs to be scaled up in line with UN commitments and people are dealing with increasing impacts of extreme weather events.
As part of an assessment that shows significant cuts in development aid to poor nations, the OECD has just revealed that funding for programs mainly focused on helping developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change fell globally from $3.1 billion in 2010 to $1.8 billion in 2011. Although the OECD has not yet released climate finance figures for 2012, research by Oxfam suggests that levels of public climate finance did not improve last year.
Floods are among the most common causes of disasters in cities. Many cities are built on rivers or on low-elevation sites on coasts so they’re vulnerable to flooding. As cities expand, so the increased building further limits natural drainage and can increase flood risks each time it rains heavily.
In the last year, the list of cities where serious floods and loss of life has occurred include Jakarta, Chittagong, Manila, Beijing, Krymsk, Buenos Aires, various cities in Nigeria, New York and other cities in the US, and the Caribbean which was hit by hurricane Sandy in October 2012. In 2011 floods in Thailand devastated Bangkok and many other Thai cities (and rural areas).
The European commission on Wednesday called for merging the fight against poverty and environmental protection into a single framework for the future, casting itself as the "role model" for the world.
The commission's Decent Life for All by 2030 (pdf) communication outlines proposed negotiating positions on the successor to the UN millennium development goals (MDGs), the eight targets agreed in 2000 – with many likely to miss their 2015 target.
The United Nations has set two huge energy-related goals for the coming century. The first is to bring electricity to the 1.3 billion people who still don’t have it. The second is to curtail fossil fuel use and keep global warming below 2°C.
Those are daunting goals. They’re also in somewhat awkward tension with each other. The first requires increasing the amount of energy the world uses, including fossil fuels. The second requires harnessing cleaner power sources, using energy more efficiently, and even conserving power. So is it possible to do both at once?
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Vietnam on Thursday signed two loan agreements totaling 111.88 million U.S. dollars to help Vietnam enhance low carbon agriculture development, and strengthen the government's capacity to better startup, prepare and implement ADB-financed projects.
The question of whether accepting and acting on climate change adaptation amounts to an admission of defeat for climate change mitigation was the most pressing topic discussed by climate experts on a panel this week at an event sponsored by The Earth Institute.
The debate around applying climate change science to urban environments has been reinvigorated in the wake of the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy on New York City and its 500 miles of coastline in October 2012, as well as on the coastlines of neighbouring New Jersey and Long Island.
Contrary to popular belief, most rural communities facing recurrent climate shocks learn to adapt, using their own resources and knowledge. Yet many international aid programmes have outside “experts” craft interventions without the involvement of those they seek to help.
And many development projects do not actually promote adaptability, said Simon Levine of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), in a 2012 Oxfam blog post. “The vast majority of these interventions, and the people designing and running them, never talked about 'change' or 'the future' at all… If you want to help people be able to deal with change, then you have to start by thinking about them as people who have their own minds and preferences and plans, and the right to choose, and the right to be able to make an informed choice. They don't need skills that are right for today half as much as they need to know where they can find the skills they may need tomorrow.”
The World Bank may have found its “hip” voice with a new campaign called Connect4Climate, which uses social media, blogs, video and music to reach young audiences and build an online conversation about climate change. Campaign sponsors include the World Bank, Italian Ministry of the Environment and Global Environment Facility and dozens of partners.