Cancun Agreements Stress Adaptation
By Stacy Kotorac and Radha Neelakantan
December 14 - COP16 ended in Cancun with a package of agreements, one of which is to help developing countries adapt to climate change. The shared vision for long-term cooperative action affirms that "adaptation must be addressed with the same priority as mitigation, and requires appropriate institutional arrangements to enhance adaptation action and support," with the second section of the AWG-LCA document dedicated to enhanced action on adaptation through the establishment of the CancÃºn Adaptation Framework. The Framework calls on parties to enhance action on adaption through measures such as impact, vulnerability and adaptation assessments; strengthening institutional capacity for dealing with adaptation; building resilience of socio-economic and ecological systems; and sharing information, knowledge and data.
An Adaptation Committee was also set up to provide technical guidance to the Parties, strengthen sharing of information among Parties, and promote engagement among international and regional organizations, among others. Finally, it establishes a work programme under the SBI to consider approaches to address loss and damage caused by climate change impacts in vulnerable developing countries, which had been a key AOSIS ask and a point of disagreement during negotiations.
The Adaptation Fund settled on three workshops, with the possibility of a fourth, to explain the process and requirements for accrediting the national implementing entities. The COP/MOP agreed to review the Adaptation Fund at COP/MOP 7 and every three years after that.
On the finance side, the commitment of $30 billion for fast-track financing for the period 2010-2012 is intended to be split between mitigation and adaptation, with the latter being prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries; in the long-term, it was decided that a "œsignificant share of new multilateral financing for adaptation" will flow through the newly-established Green Climate Fund.
Download the full text of the CancÃºn Agreements here.