To put adaptation in proper context, let¶s briefly note three points: that adaptation isdiscussed in the basic Framework Convention (UNFCCC) text; a framework for financingadaptation activities was discussed at the Bali meeting in 2007; and, in the work stream of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA), adaptation constitutes thefocus of the Nairobi Work Programme.In the Framework Convention text there are at least ten provisions that refer to adaptation. Mostnotably, Articles 4.1 and 4.4 relate to cooperation in preparing for adaptation to impacts of climatechange and assistance to the most vulnerable in meeting the costs of adaptation. Further, Articles4.8 and 4.9 urge consideration of actions to meet the needs of developing countries, relating tofunding, insurance and transfer of technology, and transfer funds, as well as the specialcircumstances of both small island nations and those economies highly dependent on fossil fuels.
At the Bali meeting in 2007, the Bali Roadmap provided for the launch of the Adaptation Fund,which was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programs in developing countryParties to the Kyoto Protocol that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climatechange. The Adaptation Fund is financed from a share of the proceeds on Clean DevelopmentMechanism project activities amounting to 2% of the certified emission reductions (CERs) issuedfor a CDM project activity.
In the Nairobi Work Programme under SBSTA, the goals are i) to improve understanding andassessment of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, and ii) to make decisionson practical adaptation actions and measures within a scientific, technical and socioeconomicframework. The Nairobi Work Programme is not limited to Parties; it is a ³big tent´ initiative thatbrings together NGOs, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, and other stakeholders.
There many definitions of adaptation, but for our purposes let's use the IntergovernmentalPanel on Climate Change (IPCC) version, which defines climate change adaptation as ³anadjustment in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expectedclimatic stimuli and their effects or impacts.´
Copenhagen outcomesEntering Copenhagen, the draft text on adaptation was heavily bracketed with the inclusion of numerous alternative suggestions from developing countries reflecting much fundamentaldisagreement.
Most of the relevant activity at COP-15 occurred in a drafting group reporting to the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA). Some progress was madewith regard to an adaptation framework or program, objectives and principles, and categories of action, but differences remained on, among other things, response measures, a loss and damagemechanism, assessment of adaptation actions, and support for adaptation.
So where did the adaptation thread conclude in Copenhagen? One answer is to ³follow themoney.´ Specifically, according to the Accord, the intention is to provide $30 billion of ³quick start´funding in the period 2010 ± 2012 for activities relating to adaptation, forestry, and technologytransfer; the long-term finance of a further $100 billion per year by 2020 will be mobilized from avariety of sources.