Friday, December 12, 2008

Adapting to climate change

EurActiv: There is "no need to wait for extreme weather events to strike and islands and coastal regions to be flooded" to develop effective climate change adaptation policies, argue Frank Biermann, professor of environmental policy sciences at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IES) et al. in a November paper for the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). The major issue in the long-term development of climate change policy is the "challenge of designing architectures for global adaptation governance," the paper states.

For the time being, the authors believe that the required level of adaptation to climate change "exceeds the institutional capacities of many nations". National institutions are in need of "redesigning and strengthening, while new governance mechanisms are required," the paper claims. Meanwhile, the authors warn that climate change could have "detrimental effects on where people can live as well as on their ability to produce and access food".

"Improved state-of-the-art research on farming technologies in developing countries" could help to counter this, the paper suggests.
Developing countries are at a "competitive disadvantage", however, as a result of disparities in agricultural research funding, the authors admit. It is thus highly likely that developed countries and the private sector will have a special role in helping the developing contries' farming sectors to adapt, the paper argues.

…The paper also warns of potentially millions of climate refugees in the decades to come, as "existing governance mechanisms are not sufficiently equipped to deal with this looming crisis". To meet the challenge, the authors believe new legal instruments "specifically tailored to the needs of climate refugees" are required….

A helicopter deposits a sandbag in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina

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