Monday, December 13, 2010

Post-Cancun, how to adapt

Forex Pros via Reuters: Climate negotiators left this tourist city upbeat about a modest deal to control global warming, but the world still faces daunting choices on how to cope with rising seas, health woes and mass migration. Because nations are unlikely to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to prevent climate change, world leaders must work out how developing nations will adapt to more severe weather predicted in coming years that will hit food and water supplies.

Delegates from nearly 200 nations surprised skeptics when they agreed a pact in Mexico to set up a new fund -- with a goal of $100 billion in a year from 2020 -- for measures to protect forests, share clean technologies and help the poor adapt.

Until now, most efforts have been on curbing greenhouse gases from factories, power plants and vehicles -- not on adapting to a changing climate of droughts, floods and a creeping rise in sea levels. The Cancun deal asks countries to submit ideas by Feb. 21 about steps to set up an "Adaptation Committee."

Adapting to climate change will affect rich and poor nations but it is the latter that are likely to be hardest hit and will have to seek money to fund everything from research into drought-resistant crops to barriers against rising seas. So deciding how to dole out limited donor funds among desperate nations will become increasingly difficult in the years ahead. Leaders will have to grapple with which climate battles they can fight and which are simply overwhelming.

"Adaptation will increasingly involve choices about what to preserve, since enormous amounts of resources might otherwise be wasted on the impossible," according to Dara International, a think tank that audited the impact of climate change around the world….

The beach in Cancun, shot by safainla, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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