Wednesday, March 30, 2011

‘No regrets’ policy for long-term climate change planning

Summit County Citizens’ Voice (Colorado): The well-respected London School of Economics is warning that developing countries must start considering climate change impacts in their long-term planning. That includes looking at potential changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events to avoid “locking in” vulnerabilities, which could lead to significant and potentially irreversible damage in the future.

Recommended steps include a focus on concrete adaptation measures like early warning systems for extreme weather and flood defenses, as well as softer adaptation measures, such as public awareness-raising and evacuation planning.

Policy makers should look at low-regret strategies to cope with a wide range of possible climate conditions. For example, bigger reservoirs can be built to maintain an adequate supply of water even under a wide range of potential rainfall conditions in the future. As a specific example, new coastal defense systems could be built with broader foundations so that they can be increased in height at a later date rather than re-constructed entirely to protect against higher sea levels.

The report by Dr Nicola Ranger and Su-Lin Garbett-Shiels was prepared as a contribution to the World Resources Report 2011, and points out that “uncertainties in computer model projections about future climate should not stop good adaptation decisions being made today.” It stresses that “by building flexibility into adaptation strategies from the outset, increasing climate resilience, even with deep uncertainty about future impacts, should be no more challenging than other areas of policy.”…

Setsuko Hara in 1946 Japanese movie No Regrets for Our Youth (わが青春に悔なし, Waga seishun ni kuinashi).

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