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CHAPTER SIX Rationale and Mechanisms for Global Engagement in Climate Change Adaptation A mericaâs climate choices regarding limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapting to climate change impacts will be implemented in a global con- text. At a fundamental level, the decisions made by individual governments are linked to impacts in other countries through the climate system, the global economy, and in many other ways. Each nationâs climate change responses can impact systems that cross international borders, influencing everything from water flow in major river basins to population migrations and food supplies. Moreover, climate change impacts and adaptation actionsâor the lack of thereofâin every country will affect competi- tion in global markets for climate-sensitive products and services (e.g., forest products and tourism; Denman et al., 2007). As international climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) draw attention to the need for adaptation as well as limiting GHG emissions, the United States, as the worldâs historic leading emitter of GHGs, will have strategic choices to make about how to engage and re- spond. As discussed in detail in the companion report ACC: Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change (NRC, 2010c), the high-income countries have been the lead- ing contributors to cumulative GHG emissions. However, emissions in the emerging economies (e.g., Brazil, China, and India) are projected to grow much more rapidly than those in developed countries. In fact, current projections indicate that the low- and middle-income countries will account for the bulk of cumulative global GHG emis- sions in the future (NRC, 2010c). Therefore, choosing to engage in international dialogues and actions about climate change adaptation could have several benefits for the United States. First, it addresses questions of global equity with regard to developing countries bearing the conse- quences of climate change resulting from emission from the developed countries. Sec- ond, it is an opportunity for the United States to provide assistance for international humanitarian concerns as part of existing development goals. Third, international engagement can address national security issues that could arise from climate change. Fourth, coordination among countries could improve the effectiveness of adaptation
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E efforts by reducing redundant activities or those that work at cross purposes and by facilitating an exchange of lessons learned. Fifth, international engagement offers the United States opportunities to learn from the adaptation experiences of others. And sixth, international engagement offers opportunities for U.S. adaptation technologies, systems, and services to find expanded markets globally. This chapter discusses the international context for adaptation and concludes by high- lighting the benefits of integrating climate change adaptation objectives into a range of foreign policy, development assistance, and capacity-building efforts. Such a climate policy can improve the United Statesâ ability to influence a broader range of out- comes, including economic and national security considerations. Overall, the chapter highlights the importance of building solutions and making decisions on adaptation options within a broad international context (Bales and Duke, 2008; Bang et al., 2007; World Bank, 2010). CLIMATE CHANgE IMPACTS IN AN INTERNATIONAL CONTExT Climate change is already affecting resource availability globally, and future impacts could lead to dramatic changes in economic and environmental conditions, creat- ing both humanitarian and national security concerns (IPCC, 2007a; Khagram and Ali, 2006; World Bank, 2010). For example, projected increases in the frequency and inten- sity of extreme weather events could lead to increased vulnerability across the globe; these and other climate-related threats to sustainable development in some countries in Africa and Asia may create an increased need for humanitarian assistance (World Bank, 2010). In countries with unstable governments, climate change impacts can act as stress multipliers that have the potential to contribute to geopolitical instabilities (CNA, 2007). Particular concerns might include regional water scarcity and food short- ages (Cooley et al., 2009; Schmidhuber and Tubiello, 2007), severe storms, sealevel rise in densely populated low-lying areas, and human health impacts of climate change ( World Bank, 2010). In addition, the potential migration of populations that may be displaced by climate change (e.g., by sealevel rise or persistent drought) could exhaust resources available where resettlement is established (World Bank, 2010). Should any of these destabilizing events occur across borders, the resulting resource competition could possibly lead to international conflict.1 Specific examples of complex international issues related to climate change impacts that could potentially be addressed, at least in part, by adaptation include: 1 In this report, âconflictâ is used to refer to a subject of dispute between nations. It does not refer to military confrontations or war. âViolent conflictâ is used to indicate military or armed confrontation.
Rationale and Mechanisms for Global Engagement â¢ Food security in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa is being threatened by popula- tion growth, reduced soil fertility, changing dietary preferences, and other factors (World Bank, 2010). Additional increases in temperature and changes in precipitation could push some fragile regions over thresholds, resulting in further decreases in crop yields (Battisti and Naylor, 2009). Without adjust- ments to crop tolerances and yields, the risk of hunger could increase, and food scarcity could spur a large-scale human migration that could affect the stability of nations and the region. Adaptations to farm management practices and the development of crops resilient to change climate conditions along with improvements in crop yields will be needed to reduce food insecurity. â¢ Access to sufficient quantities of safe water for human, animal, and agricul- tural use in a changing climate is a major concern in many areas of the world. Increased precipitation is anticipated in some parts of the globe, but, even in places that get more rain rather than less, climate projections indicate that more of that precipitation is likely to come in a smaller number of intense rain- fall events (Kundzewicz et al., 2007), posing risks of both flooding and seasonal or interannual drought. Although there is some debate about the degree to which water has been a cause of conflict in the past (see, e.g., Barnaby, 2009), increasing demand for water has the potential to fuel future conflict in arid regions (Cooley et al., 2009). Many countries are interdependent for their water supply because rivers cross borders. Conflict could arise among countries where increased variability in the water supply from climate change outpaces the ability of relevant institutions to adjust (Wolf et al., 2003). More interna- tional cooperation, possibly including new venues for collaborative discus- sions and water management, will be needed to avert conflict (Cooley et al., 2009; Wolf et al., 2003; World Bank, 2010). â¢ Climate change-related increases in the health burdens of malnutrition and diarrheal and other infectious diseases could lengthen the time required to achieve development goals by increasing resources needed to treat and control these health impacts, reducing worker productivity, and impairing childhood development. Improving health protection programs (e.g., malaria surveillance and control, increased attention to maternal and child health, and reduced risk of malnutrition) would increase the capacity of countries to avoid, prepare for, and cope with any changes in disease burdens (Confalonieri et al., 2007; Patz et al., 1996). â¢ Changes in the Arctic are affecting livelihoods and traditional ways of life and changing ecosystem diversity. Shrinking of Arctic sea ice is creating dramatic implications for access to resources, coastal erosion, the fate of arctic mam- mals, and the productivity of fisheries in the region (Post et al., 2009). As
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E marine access to the ice-free Arctic Ocean increases, sovereignty, security, and safety issues will become more common (ACIA, 2005). To adjust to the condi- tions, adaptation will include the relocation of some communities. Interna- tional dialogue and coordination regarding newly open water will also need to occur. â¢ The consequences of sea level rise for Pacific Island nations and Asia have the potential to displace populations across the globe. Handling such migration may require new international policies and approaches to facilitate migration and refugee resettlement (Gilbert, 2009). RATIONALE FOR u.S. ENgAgEMENT IN ADAPTINg TO CLIMATE CHANgE AT THE gLObAL SCALE The rationale for U.S. engagement in international adaptation efforts stems in part from equity considerations, associated with the fact that the United States has played a major role in the buildup of GHGs in the atmosphere to date. In fact, the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP), including the United States, agreed to the Bali Ac- tion Plan in 2007, which formalizes a process for nations to join in an effort to support adaptation to climate change. global Equity Considerations The UNFCCC is a global environmental treaty with nearly universal membership (192 parties) and includes nations that are the main contributors of emissions as well as those that will need to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Due to the greater socioeconomic vulnerabilities in developing nations, the poorest nations who have contributed the fewest GHG emissions will likely face the greatest consequences (IPCC, 2007a; World Bank, 2010). Consequently, during the COP in Copenhagen, the most important objective of international climate policy negotiations for many of these developing nations was obtaining a commitment from the developed nations on both GHG emissions reductions and substantial adaptation funding (SEI, 2009). Although developed countries have already committed (Article 4.4) to assist develop- ing countries in meeting adaptation costs, the available funds fall short of the esti- mated amounts of funds needed (Klein and MÃ¶hner, 2009). In addition, there are con- cerns as to whether the current system of funding adaptation is adequate, even if the funds were fully funded (Klein and MÃ¶hner, 2009; SEI, 2009). There are currently several funds established under the UNFCCC: the Global Environmental Facility Trust Fund, the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), and the Special Climate Change Fund. There
Rationale and Mechanisms for Global Engagement is also an Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol, which has never become opera- tional. Adaptation financing is a major hurdle to making progress on an international agreement under the UNFCCC, and proposals for overcoming these obstacles have been offered (e.g., SEI, 2009). Although the rationale for engagement is apparent, the mechanisms by which to engage are diverse, as discussed below. Advancing Development goals The impacts cited in the previous section are representative of the kinds of humanitar- ian crises that climate change is likely to exacerbate. The United States has the oppor- tunity to assist with adaptation efforts that improve the capacity of these countries to adapt and advance general development goals. Examples of activities that the United States could engage in to advance these objectives include providing more aid in response to extreme events and other climate-related impacts (OâBrien et al., 2006; Schipper and Pelling, 2006), participating in the planning and management of trans- border resources and human migrations (de Wit and Stankiewicz, 2006; Niasse, 2005; World Bank, 2010), increased monitoring of and support for food security (Schmidhu- ber and Tubiello, 2007; World Bank, 2010), and developing and transferring renewable energy technologies that reduce GHG emissions (Brewer, 2008; de Coninck et al., 2008). u.S. National Security National security implications of climate change for the United States have received increased attention recently (e.g., Blair, 2009; Broder, 2009; Busby, 2007; CNA, 2007). The concerns are twofold: First, as noted earlier, climate change will potentially have adverse and sustained impacts on resource availability and vulnerability in some re- gions and might disproportionally affect developing countries and the poor (Schmid- huber and Tubiello, 2007). Because of these adverse impacts, a recent report by the intelligence community concluded that the decreased availability of resources, such as water and food, represents a stress multiplier (CNA, 2007). Governments may face increasing difficulty sustaining their populations and maintaining political stability as they cope with resource stresses induced by climate change (CNA, 2007). Conflict over resources made scarce (or newly accessible) by climate change is a possibility. Cli- mate change could affect the stability of nations and lead to conflicts that the United States may need to engage in. For example, transboundary water issues can result in increased tension; however, most often agreements are found (Wolf, 2007; see also dis- cussion below). In fact, a gradual decrease in the resource after agreements are found is more likely than violent conflict. This gradual decrease in water quality or supply can
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E cause internal instability and affect human welfare (Wolf, 2007). Diplomacy, intelli- gence, military force, and economic aid are components of an integrated and coherent strategy for addressing climate change adaptation in the context of national security (CNA, 2007). Future socioeconomic conditions in developing countries, however, are quite uncertain. Should standards of living rise, as they will in some countries, those nationsâ adaptive capacity is likely to increase (Tol et al., 2004). Second, the effects that climate change will have on the operational environment rep- resent a concern for national security, though the extent and timing of such impacts remain uncertain. Rising sea level, increases in extreme climate-related events, long- term changes in patterns of precipitation and temperature, and changes in access to and availability of resources are all factors that are relevant to the operational envi- ronment of the U.S. military at home and abroad. As an example, military installations along the coast are likely to be affected by sea level rise and may need enhanced measures to cope with more intense coastal storms. Military forces may also be called upon more frequently to respond to extreme events such as hurricanes, wildfires, heat waves, floods, winter storms, and drought. U.S. military forces already possess unique and unequalled capabilities to deploy and support such activities on a global basis and will continue to do so. For these reasons and others, the national security community has been increasingly concerned with climate change, which has been recognized as a threat to national security by several independent reports (e.g., Busby, 2007; CNA, 2007). The Navy is ad- dressing these concerns through a high-level task force on climate change, and there is evidence that this subject will be addressed in considerably more detail in forth- coming documents such as the Department of Defense Quadrennial Defense Review (DOD, 2006), the National Security Strategy, the National Military Strategy, and the State Departmentâs Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (DOS, 2009). In addition, the Senate has held hearings on climate change impacts as they relate to the U.S. military and national security (Blair, 2009; Warner, 2009). Recognizing the security implications of a changing environment, the White House issued a national security presidential directive in January 2009 updating its policy related to homeland security and defense and the effects of climate change and human activity in the Arctic region (Presidential Directive, 2009). Where climate change poses challenges to U.S. national security, adaptation alternatives may provide strategic opportunities (Busby, 2007). 0
Rationale and Mechanisms for Global Engagement Transboundary Adaptation Challenges As discussed previously in this report, adaptation activities have the potential to be redundant or to work at cross purposes if they are not coordinated across sectors, ac- tors, scale, and time frames (Chapters 3-5). Adjustments made by one country can have unfavorable consequences for others. To examine the need for international coordina- tion on adaptation, transboundary river basins serve as an example of the kinds of co- operation and dialogue that will be required to coordinate climate change adaptation. International river basins are a good proxy because they occur all over the world, the actors they link vary in number and in economic development, and there is an existing body of literature devoted to the sharing of resources over time in these locations. There are 263 transboundary waterways in the world today, the watersheds of which include 40 percent of the worldâs population, 47 percent of the Earthâs land, and 60 percent of the freshwater resources (Wolf, 2007; Wolf et al., 1999), including several riv- ers that cross U.S. boundaries. An example is the Colorado River, which flows through seven states and crosses the U.S.-Mexico border. Water issues in the Colorado River basin are particularly complex and have generated significant tension, both among U.S. states and between the United States and Mexico (Figure 6.1). Recent develop- ments have showcased the benefits of both official diplomacy and the roles of non- governmental partners, as well as more innovative approaches to problem solving and capacity building (Cooley et al., 2009). The Colorado River basin is currently experiencing not only the worst drought in a century of record keeping but one of the worst droughts in more than 500 years (based on tree-ring data and other paleoclimate studies; Timilsena et al., 2007). Wa- ter levels in its two largest reservoirs, Lakes Powell and Mead, have plummeted from nearly full in 1999 to half empty due to low levels of runoff. Recent modeling studies of climate change and projected population growth in the basin indicate that the current drought conditions can be understood as a preview of the future (Milly et al., 2008; Seager et al., 2007). Climate change impacts are expected to include increased ambient temperatures, evaporation, and evapotranspiration rates; reduced and altered timing of precipitation and runoff; and increased energy demands. These impacts will add to water supply challenges associated with ongoing development in the Up- per Basin (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico) and rapid population growth throughout the Lower Basin (Arizona, California, and Nevada) and Mexico. Shortages represent a particular concern for Mexico because that nation lacks on- or off-stream storage and depends directly on U.S. deliveries to meet water supply needs for munic- ipal, agricultural, and environmental uses. Population growth in border communities and along the Pacific Coast may result in critical water supply shortages for Tijuana,
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E FIguRE 6.1 Map of the Colorado River basin. SOURCE: International Mapping Associates. Ensenada, Mexicali, and other communities, which in some cases have already out- stripped existing water supplies. Groundwater use and the continued availability of groundwater recharge remains a critical concern to agricultural users in the Mexicali Valley. The United States and Mexico have long maintained formal international institu- tions for the management of the Colorado River. The U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) and its Mexican counterpart, the Comision InternaciÃ³nal de
Rationale and Mechanisms for Global Engagement LÃmites y Aguas (CILA), have existed for over 120 years to apply boundary water trea- ties between the two countries and to address differences that may result from the ap- plication of the treaties.2 The fact that more than 300 clarifications and amendments have been made to the 1944 treaty that governs water delivery from the Colorado River to Mexico shows that IBWC and CILA have established a precedent of adapting to changing conditions in the basin (Cooley et al., 2009; Tarlock, 2000). Nevertheless, climate change is not specifically referred to in any of the amendments, nor are ad- aptations to water scarcity in both countries that might reduce stresses and buy time to develop effective cooperative management approaches for the longer term. These institutions have historically provided a forum for dialogue and cooperation, but they may still prove insufficiently flexible to address rapidly changing conditions related to climate (Tarlock, 2000). Learning from Others Many foreign governments have moved beyond a focus on limiting GHG emissions and are strongly engaged in climate change adaptation activities, participating in programs that range from funding and facilitating a coordinated adaptation research program in Australia (see Chapter 5) to supporting strong public engagement and capacity-building activities and efforts to bridge the science-policy interface (such as the United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme; see Chapter 5, Box 5.5). Efforts in Germany provide a good example of an interdisciplinary, multisectoral approach to planning that focuses on the economic opportunities associated with adapting to climate change (see Box 6.1). Remarkably, some of the least developed countries have strongly supported implementation of adaptation efforts and offer opportunities for learning (see Box 6.2). OPPORTuNITIES FOR u.S. ENgAgEMENT IN gLObAL ADAPTATION ACTIvITIES The United States has a wide variety of possible choices for incorporating climate change concerns into current international activities and considering appropriate U.S. roles in supporting global adaptation efforts. 2 http://www.ibwc.state.gov/home.html.
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E bOx 6.1 germany In January 2009, the German Ministry of Education and Research announced its support for a consortium of universities, the regional Chamber of Commerce, and several stakeholder groups to develop the Northwest 2050 plan over the next 5 years (BMBF, 2010). This plan will include detailed analyses and comprehensive planning to prepare Germanyâs coastal northwest for the direct impacts of climate change on the environment, businesses, and society as well as the indirect impacts that may come from changes in markets, technology, migration, and other social and economic drivers. This adaptation planning focuses on three sectors: energy, food, and shipping. Energy industry. The energy industry in the northwest region is intimately tied to national and in- ternational energy markets.While the region is projected to continue supplying energy from traditional sources, the regionâs coastline and landscape also offer ideal conditions for the development of wind and biomass energy sources. The energy industry is likely to be affected by climate change because of changes in availability of cooling water and more frequent storms that disrupt service and raise maintenance costs. Special attention will be given to the interplay of changes in energy technology, demand, and climate in order to inform investment decisions that improve the regionâs resilience. FoodÂprovision industry. This wide-reaching cluster of industries ranges from fisheries and agricul- ture to the supermarket. It is projected to undergo major adjustments due to climate change impacts. Agriculture will likely be affected as increased temperature and altered precipitation patterns change the crops that are planted and their yields. The forestry sector is projected to see a shift in ecologically Opportunities for âMainstreamingâ Climate Change Adaptation Activities into Existing u.S. Programs U.S. decisions about climate change adaptations at both national and international scales will take place in the context of existing treaties, trade relationships, resource extraction and processing networks, international development assistance, and global markets. This fact creates both constraints and opportunities: constraints because of the complexity of these interactions, and opportunities because many existing in- ternational engagement mechanisms can be used to achieve adaptation objectives. While it is beyond the scope of this report to provide a comprehensive review of or comment on the full range of international activities, climate change adaptation in the context of international development assistance is an example. Climate change, if left unmanaged, has the potential to reverse development progress ( World Bank, 2010). Agriculture and trade policies are linked to national and interna- tional food security. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which has a long history in international agricultural development, has engaged in a number of
Rationale and Mechanisms for Global Engagement supported forest types. Fisheries may be impacted by the projected loss of biodiversity. The supply chains for input into the industry and its outputs to markets may be disrupted by more frequent ex- treme weather events. Special attention will be given to issues surrounding supply chain management and public health under different socioeconomic and climate scenarios. Shipping and trade industry.The regionâs ports are among its key economic enginesâtransporting goods internationally and supporting a large logistics industry.The international dimension of the ship- ping and trade industries and the manufacturing industries in the region require analysis of interrelated impacts that may be difficult to predict or adapt to. For example, infrastructure may be at greater risk from rising water levels and more frequent storms. Insuring and supporting the industry may become much more expensive. Markets for goods and services will be affected, leading to regional shifts and changes in the volume of exchanges, thus affecting the local economy. Special attention will be given to social and economic ripple effects associated with changes in the viability of shipping and trade in the region, as well as the fiscal impacts on the local economy that may result from (re)investment in infrastructure and from changes in competitiveness and profitability of the industry. Detailed analysis and assessment of each of these three industries will be guided by a set of overarching questions involving expected trends and scenarios, potential opportunities, desired out- comes, challenges, and future strategies that need to be implemented. The project will combine basic research into the application of complex systems theory (definition and assessment of vulnerabilities and resilience) and nonlinear dynamic modeling (exploration of macrobehaviors and self-organiza- tion under alternate boundary constraints) with extensive dialogue with stakeholders in the local and regional investment and policy decision-making communities. activities to incorporate climate change adaptation into its mission and goals. Primar- ily, it attempts to provide stakeholders with Earth observations and climate informa- tion to allow for early warning (e.g., the Famine Early Warning System Network) or as- sist with disaster response. USAIDâs climate change adaptation program also assesses development projects to ensure they function under future climate change. Because developing nations are more vulnerable to climate change and have less adap- tive capacity, meeting goals of poverty reduction and sustainable development will become increasingly challenging with climate change (World Bank, 2010). Providing enough clean water and food with projected population growth and climate change will require a coordinated and global effort with leadership from the developed world ( World Bank, 2010). The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)âas part of USAIDâis respon- sible for facilitating and coordinating U.S. emergency assistance overseas and funds activities to reduce the impact of recurrent natural hazards and provides training to build local capacity for emergency management and response. OFDA responds to all types of natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, floods,
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E bOx 6.2 The Least-Developed Countries Fund The severe impacts of climate change will disproportionately threaten the most vulnerable parts of the world, including the poorest developing countries, countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and island nations. Roughly 100 countries with a population of almost a billion people fall in these categories. The Least-Developed Countries Fund, managed by the Global Environment Facility, provides financial and technical assistance to these countries to develop National Adaptation Plans for Action (NAPAs). Forty such plans have been completed so far, focusing mostly on agriculture, water, health, and capacity building. NAPAs use a common template and a âleast developed countries expert groupâ that provides guidelines on impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation options. The NAPAs have received high marks for being country-driven in their development. Many NAPAs propose what look like standard development projects. However, to be considered as adaptation projects they needed to incorporate climate change into the design and demonstrate connections to the scientific evidence about impacts. Bangladeshâs adaptation plans can illustrate some early successes resulting from the NAPA process. Despite their resource limitations, some less developed countries are in the forefront on adaptation. Bangladesh (see figure below), which is especially vulnerable to sea level rise and tropical cyclone activity, has committed the equivalent of tens of millions of U.S. dollars toward development of a na- tional adaptation strategy and is now building a program involving all government ministers (S. Huq, personal communication, May 4, 2009). In addition to the focus on implementation of adaptations to sea level rise and tropical cyclones, Bangladesh is exploring new modes of engagement to support adaptation policies and funding. For example, 140 international representatives attended a recent conference in Bangladesh to discuss community-based climate change actions, ways to connect researchers to practitioners, and devel- opment of pilot projects and assessments (S. Huq, personal communication, May 4, 2009). A concept explored in this discussion was ways to engage young researchers and local knowledge in developing countries in building adaptive capacity. This could result in the creation of an international network of trained âcapacity buildersâ who can support practical ground-up adaptation efforts without the need for major international negotiations and funding.
Rationale and Mechanisms for Global Engagement Map of Bangladesh illustrating the countryâs vulnerability to sea level rise due to the low elevation of coastal communities (within and outside a 10-meter low elevation coastal zone [LECZ]) and tropical cyclones. SOURCE: CIESIN (2007).
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E droughts, fires, insect infestations, and disease outbreaks. It provides humanitarian assistance to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and reduce the social and economic impacts of emergencies worldwide. Because weather extremes are projected to be- come more severe or more frequent as the climate changes, OFDA provides a mecha- nism for mainstreaming adaptation efforts by making additional resources available. In addition to development programs, a wide range of international programs and a large number of bilateral or multilateral U.S. free trade agreements are available as tools for promoting environmental standards. Such trade agreements could therefore include adaptation standards as part of their environmental standards in particular in promoting more sustainable agricultural practices. Considering the Role of the united States in global Adaptation Activities In fact, adaptation may involve significant transformations rather than incremental changes, some of which will be painful to those in societies reluctant to, or not able to, embrace change. International action and funding may be required to assist in pro- moting resilience, not only to finance adaptation projects, but also to facilitate the ex- change of knowledge and practices that embrace a resilience approach to adaptation. (Adger et al., 2009) As previously discussed, several adaptation funds have been established under the UNFCCC. The United States is eligible to contribute to three, including the LDCF (Box 6.2). The first contribution from the United States occurred in 2009, demonstrat- ing the reluctance of the United States to engage directly in these global adaptation efforts, while other countries have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars and continue to look for expanded opportunities to fund adaptation. Documenting that investments have actually gone to âadaptationâ as opposed to âdevelopmentâ is dif- ficult in some cases; it is particularly difficult to define an increment that qualifies for climate change adaptation funding beyond benefits to development per se. Although this distinction has been considered necessary in the context of assessing national responsibility for climate change and the call from developing nations for reparations as part of the climate change negotiations, adaptation is deeply linked with develop- ment co-benefits. Therefore, there is a need to reexamine this dichotomy, align ad- aptation with sustainable development goals, and consider how to avoid separating adaptation from other development activities. Other options for U.S. engagement exist through a range of United Nations bodies, including the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the United Na- tions Development Program (UNDP), and the United Nations Environmental Pro-
Rationale and Mechanisms for Global Engagement gram (UNEP). For example, the UNDP has developed Adaptation Policy Frameworks with Global Environment Fund (GEF) support; and the UNEPâs World Meteorological Organization and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have jointly con- ducted Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change (AIACC) in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, also with funding from the GEF. âAIACC aims to enhance the scientific capacity of developing countries to assess climate change vulnerabilities and adaptations, and generate and communicate information useful for adaptation planning and actionâ (AIACC, 2010). In addition to funding from GEF, AIACC has been directly supported by USAID, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the World Bank. In fact, the World Bank is an important mechanism through which the United States supports development and adaptation activities. The World Bank provides technical and financial resources to developing countries with the goal to reduce poverty. In addition to providing low- interest loans and grants, one of the World Bankâs core functions is capacity building, through such components as the World Bank University, and it is an important con- tributor to climate change adaptation. The recently released report on âDevelopment and Climate Changeâ (World Bank, 2010) exemplifies how it provides leadership and assistance on key topics. In addition, the World Bank Pilot Project on Climate Resilience (PPCR) contributed more than $500 million in less than a year to fund priority adapta- tion projects in ten least-developed countries. The rationale for and importance of U.S. engagement in adaptation activities at the global scale have already been articulated. However, the U.S. government has yet to commit substantial funds to the adaptation funds of the UNFCCC. Negotiations in Copenhagen highlighted the need for a strong U.S. commitment to these funds in ad- dition to its leadership and engagement in other climate change and international de- velopment programs. There are a number of considerations that need to be evaluated, including making determinations about what the primary goals of future engagement should be. It will be important to answer a number of questions about the priorities of international adaptation investments relative to investments within the United States and about the strategic implications of investing in particular adaptation projects and funds (see suggested questions for consideration in the âConclusionsâ section of this chapter). CONCLuSIONS There are many reasons for the United States to engage in international climate change adaptation dialogues and actions. Some are benevolent, and some are self-in-
A D A P T I N G T O T H E I M PA C T S O F C L I M AT E C H A N G E terested; but in combination they make a compelling case for a significant U.S. role in international climate change adaptation. The following critical questions need to be addressed in the context of developing a national adaptation program that recognizes the global context, reflects the lessons learned in other countries, and focuses on capacity building: â¢ To what degree should the United States address adaptation as a global issue rather than as an issue to be addressed by each country individually? â¢ How can adaptation programs appropriately consider the wide range of inter- national issues, including national security, economic security, and sustainabil- ity of human and environmental systems? â¢ Which adaptation activities need to be coordinated with other countries to be effective? To what degree should adaptation activities be done collectively across boundaries? â¢ Where would it be most effective to focus on reducing the vulnerabilities that underlie potential climate change impacts? How can these vulnerabilities be addressed proactively so that impacts are delayed or prevented? â¢ What processes can be established to ensure that the United States benefits from lessons learned in adaptation in other countries? What types of global support systems could be most effective in reducing the impacts of climate change? â¢ Which adaptation activities are transnational in natureâfor example, manag- ing cross-border resources that are impacted by climate change? â¢ Are there adaptation options that other countries might pursue that would increase U.S. vulnerability? Are there actions that we might take that would in- crease vulnerability elsewhere, including creating national security, economic, equity, and competition concerns? Climate changes affect economic competi- tiveness differently depending on a variety of factors, including geography, resource base, and adaptive capacity. â¢ How can limiting of GHG emissions and adaptation activities be linked in a global context so that both are optimized? How can the United States work with other countries to prevent unintended consequences of these activities? â¢ How can the United States best support international adaptation to rapid change versus long-term gradual changes? It is clear that responses to rapid change in the near term are more likely to be in an emergency management context, whereas responses to gradual changes may be more appropriate for longer-term global conversations. â¢ What kind of institutional structure should support these conversations? There is a need for expanded engagement beyond emissions-limiting discussions, 00
Rationale and Mechanisms for Global Engagement including broad-scale international funding for adaptation, knowledge shar- ing, and technology. Should this be built into the United Nations system or another existing structure, or should a new institution be developed? Is the Least-Developed Countries Fund a good model? â¢ Historically, the worldâs economies were focused on resource extraction. Cli- mate change affects primary productivity, the ability to produce and extract natural resources that are still the source of livelihood in vast areas of the world, and also national wealth. How can we predict such vulnerabilities and prepare for them? â¢ What principles should the United States follow in developing its emissions- limiting and adaptation strategies to ensure that international engagement is conducted in a consistent and constructive manner? Adaptations that increase resilience in one nation might increase vulnerability in other nations; such interaction effects need to be evaluated as a part of U.S. engagements in international adaptation actions. For example, upstream nations may wish to build more reservoirs to capture declining water supplies in drier regions. Such action would likely reduce water supplies for downstream counties and could increase the potential for conflict (Cooley et al., 2009). Conclusion: The United States would benefit from engaging in international adaptation activities as part of the UNFCCC. Through this venue it could address many of the above questions. U.S. participation in multinational institutional arrangements to coordinate adaptation activities across the globe could result in many valuable outcomes, including the development of a clearinghouse function to provide information about adaptation activities. Conclusion: âMainstreamingâ adaptation considerations into a range of U.S. international activities that could abate exposure to vulnerabilities from climate change. Conclusion: There is a need for new forums that allow for mutual exploration of techniques and technologies that support adaptation actions and for communication and trust building between the United States and other countries. Such collaborative forums could also be used as focal points for peer-to-peer conversations on science, geoengineering, and emissions-reduction strategies and policies. Other roles could include assessing the interrelationships within and between climate change policies, facilitating development of new adaptation technologies, collaborating on needs for observing systems and attribution methods, and facilitating ongoing research-to-action and implementation of adaptation activities. 0