Although the developed world is largely responsible for climate change, the developing world will bear the burden of its effects. It is largely ill-equipped to do so. Early climate efforts focused on mitigation; the next must also address adaptation. Some observers have suggested increasing development assistance to finance adaptation measures.

Early climate efforts largely focused on mitigation; the next phase must also address adaptation. The recent IPCC Report pointed out that vulnerability to climate change can be exacerbated by the presence of other stresses that are frequently present in developing countries.

Because the costs incurred for adaptation were thought to provide largely local benefits, were suspected to be large, were difficult to distinguish from “regular” development, and smacked of compensation awarded for damages, industrialized countries have been reluctant to agree to substantial amount of funds (through the Global Environment Facility (GEF), for example) for adaptation. But since any conceivable level at which GHG gases can be stabilized will be greater than the pre-industrial level, some amount of climate change is inevitable, which will impede development efforts, frustrate poverty alleviation programs, and exacerbate migrations from water-logged, water-scarce or food-scarce regions. It is that link to development and the Millennium Development Goals that prompts some observers to call for a significant role for development assistance (ODA) in financing adaptation measures (see below).

Question for GLCA:

-Should levels of ODA increase significantly in order to finance adaptation measures and to climate-proof investments in development?

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