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Emerging ideas on adaptation to climate change


Emerging ideas on adaptation to climate change Anand Patwardhan Executive Director Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council, Ministry of Science ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Emerging ideas on adaptation to climate change

Emerging ideas on adaptation to climate change
  • Anand Patwardhan
  • Executive Director
  • Technology Information, Forecasting and
    Assessment Council, Ministry of Science

  • State of science and evolution of understanding
  • Research needs (adaptive capacity, indicators)
  • Action on adaptation
  • Staged approach
  • Funding
  • Way forward
  • Principles and operationalization
  • Emerging themes
  • Adaptation and sustainable development
  • Mainstreaming

Key concepts
  • AdaptationAdjustment in natural or human systems
    in response to actual or expected climatic
    stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or
    exploits beneficial opportunities. Types of
    adaptation include anticipatory and reactive
    adaptation, private and public adaptation, and
    autonomous and planned adaptation
  • Adaptive Capacity The ability of a system to
    adjust to climate change (including climate
    variability and extremes) to moderate potential
    damages, to take advantage of opportunities, or
    to cope with the consequences
  • Sensitivity Sensitivity is the degree to which a
    system is affected, either adversely or
    beneficially, by climate-related stimuli.
  • Vulnerability The degree to which a system is
    susceptible to, or unable to cope with, adverse
    effects of climate change, including climate
    variability and extremes. Vulnerability is a
    function of the character, magnitude, and rate of
    climate variation to which a system is exposed,
    its sensitivity, and its adaptive capacity

Why is adaptation important?
  • Regardless of mitigation, we are faced with a
    finite, and significant degree of anthropogenic
    climate change
  • Managing climate risk is likely to be important
    for sustainable development
  • For both these reasons, adaptation should be an
    important part of policy response to climate

Evolving ideas on adaptation
  • Adaptation viewed purely as a response mechanism
  • Adaptation as an element of scenario-impact
  • Vulnerability and adaptive capacity as central
    themes in adaptation
  • Adaptation and sustainable development
    mainstreaming adaptation

Initial thinking on adaptation a function of
  • Adaptation viewed as adjustments made in
    practices, processes, or structures of systems
    to projected or actual changes in climate
  • At the end of the sequential process identified
    for impact assessments
  • Seven step methodology for impact assessment in
    the IPCC Second Assessment Report
  • Define the problem
  • Select method of assessment
  • Test methods/ conduct sensitivity analysis
  • Select and apply climate change scenarios
  • Assess biophysical and socio-economic impacts
  • Assess autonomous adjustments
  • Evaluate adaptation strategies

Insights from the IPCC ThirdAssessment Report
  • Vulnerability and adaptation given significant
    importance in WG II, shift in emphasis from
    mechanistic impact assessment
  • Importance of extreme events, cross-sectoral
    analysis and multiple stresses
  • Regional predictions still highly uncertain,
    important phenomena not well captured (monsoon)
  • Focus on adaptation, recognition of the link with
    development and equity issues, introduce concepts
    such as adaptive capacity
  • Recognition that those with least resources have
    the least ability to adapt

Preliminary ideas from the IPCC Fourth
Assessment Report
  • Adaptation defined as adjustments made to
    enhance resilience or reduce vulnerability
  • Adaptation practices may be looked at from
    various perspectives
  • Spatial scale
  • Sectors
  • Climate stress / hazard
  • Baseline economic development level of the
    systems they are implemented in
  • Relating adaptation to adaptive capacity
  • Adaptive capacity represents potential rather
    than actual adaptation

Research issues in adaptation
  • Indicators and measuring adaptation
  • Adaptive capacity
  • Structuring and formulating adaptation
  • Impacts proximate, non-proximate marginal,
    non-marginal, stocks vs. flows
  • Interactions across scales (spatial, temporal,
    institutional) aggregation issues
  • Extremes and variability
  • Scenarios

Measuring adaptation
  • What should be measured?
  • Hazard
  • Risk
  • Exposure
  • Vulnerability
  • Impacts
  • Adaptation intervention
  • Effectiveness of adaptation intervention

Adaptive capacity
  • Autonomous what responses are happening (will
    happen) automatically?
  • How will impacts be perceived, how will they be
    evaluated and how will response take place?
  • Who will respond, in what way?
  • Adaptive capacity is influenced not only by
    factors that promote or constrain the adoption of
    technologies and management practices, but also
    by the economic, social, political,
    environmental, institutional, and cultural
    factors that create both external and internal
    incentives as well as barriers to adaptation

Action on adaptation
  • Types of interventions
  • Financing and supporting adaptation
  • International actions
  • Approach for moving forward

Range of adaptation responses
Classifying adaptation measures
Time-scales of response
  • Anticipatory adaptation to climate change risks
    may take place at three levels
  • Adaptation to current variability
  • For observed medium change/variability
  • Long-term changes
  • Responses across the three levels are closely
    intertwined, and indeed might form a continuum.
  • Visible shift of emphasis from first level to the
    second and third levels
  • Increasing examples of measures taken to cope
    with the impacts of observed trends in climate,
    as well as scenarios of climate change.
  • Tsho Rolpa risk reduction project in Nepal
  • Quinhai-Tibet Railway in China
  • Konkan Railway in Western India
  • Thames Barrier in UK
  • Copenhagen metro in Denmark

Initial thinking on action
  • Adaptation within the financial mechanism of the
  • Identification of need for programming adaptation
    interventions within the climate change response
  • Designing a framework for funding adaptation
  • Initial thoughts on adaptation viewed it as an
    independent process rather than an action taken
    in integration with ongoing programmes
  • Thus, the staged approach to adaptation surfaced
    in the UNFCCC (decision 11/CP.1)
  • Views adaptation in three stages of interventions
  • Identifies adaptation interventions as
    sequential, one leading to another
  • Has been the programming guideline for financing
    adaptation in the international arena

Staged approach to adaptation
  • Stage I planning through studies to identify
    vulnerabilities (vulnerable countries and
    regions), policy options (for adaptation response
    measures), and appropriate capacity building
  • Stage II identifying measures to prepare for
    adaptation and further capacity building
  • Stage III promoting measures to facilitate
    adaptation, including insurance and other
    adaptation interventions

Taking the dialogue further
  • What needs to be funded guiding principles for
    funding adaptation
  • Identification of concrete what will define
    the concrete adaptation measures
  • Mainstreaming what and how
  • Exploring new mechanisms and tools
  • What should be measured and how identifying

What should be funded?
  • What kinds of projects?
  • Pilot vs. full
  • Climate variability vs. anthropogenic climate
  • Climate and non-climate benefits
  • Are there a set of projects that have unambiguous
    climate change linkages

Principles for funding adaptation
  • Automaticity in contributions
  • Adequacy and predictability of resources
  • Move from enabling activities to real projects
  • Guiding the institutional process
  • Ensuring flexibility
  • Expediting the process
  • Enabling wider access
  • Re-programming the approach to funding adaptation

Identifying concrete interventions
  • Moving away from the staged approach
  • New knowledge acquired on the theme of adaptation
    suggests that adaptation interventions are NOT
  • Adaptation interventions are now viewed in
    integration with each other and the development
  • Need for identifying a new approach that
    identifies major types of interventions that can
    be taken up across sectors relevant in
    sustainable development

Towards a portfolio approach
  • A portfolio of broad interventions for adaptation
  • Interventions may be identified through the views
    and priorities expressed in the Convention and
    the various decisions
  • Mainstreaming activities
  • Technology development and transfer
  • Insurance

Technology development and transferas a tool for
  • Technology transfer is very relevant
  • Role of traditional knowledge and capturing the
  • The dialogue needs to be extended to include
  • Technology development
  • Adoption of technology
  • Barrier removal
  • Favorable market mechanisms
  • Creating enabling environment

  • Insurance as an instrument for providing
    risk-cover against the impacts of climate
    change and variability, specifically for extreme
    weather events.
  • Exploring the tool
  • Creation of viable insurance markets requires
    risk pooling and reinsurance mechanisms
  • The former might require pooling across sectors
    and even countries
  • The latter might require access to a source of
    funds that is generated through automatic
  • Possibilities
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Disaster risk insurance

Linking adaptation and sustainable development
  • Emerging realization of the links between climate
    change and sustainable development
  • IPCC (2001) identified that activities required
    for enhancement of adaptive capacity are
    essentially equivalent to those promoting
    sustainable development.
  • It has further been understood that climate
    change adaptation and equity goals can be
    achieved through the route taken for achieving
    development goals such as improving food
    security, provision of safe drinking water,
    shelter and health care and access to other

Mainstreaming adaptation
  • Mainstreaming adaptation into development
    activities leverage concessional developmental
  • Increasingly, many developmental activities (for
    example in infrastructure) are being implemented
    by the private sector
  • How can we evaluate the portfolio of development
    projects to
  • Assess implications of climate change for project
  • Assess implications of project for reducing
    vulnerability to climate change?
  • Related question
  • How can we incrementally adjust project design or
    implementation to enhance climate change related
  • Mainstreaming in practice
  • Building ownership among stakeholders
  • Engaging private sector as active partners in
    sustainable development programmes

Barriers to adaptation
  • Financial
  • Increased realisation that available funding may
    not always be sufficient to cover the financial
    requirements of rehabilitation, mitigation and
    adaptation, specifically in case of extreme
  • Therefore, Insurance may be an instrument worth
  • Institutional
  • Social and Cultural
  • Technological
  • Informational

Future directions
  • Research issues in adaptation science
  • Focused research on methodologies for
    mainstreaming adaptation
  • Development and diffusion of technologies for
    adaptation in developing countries
  • Fostering public-private partnerships for
    mainstreaming as well as technology development
    and transfer
  • Exploring innovative funding mechanisms that
    provide automaticity for resource generation
  • Exploring insurance as the tool for providing
    risk cover against climate change and variability
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