COP18: Adaptation must be discussed at the UN climate talks

COP18 (26/11/12) – Professor Richard Klein, Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute talks about the importance of keeping the adaptation talks going under the UNFCCC. He says the science community has been saying for a long time that adaptation deserves equal focus at the talks as mitigation.

He talks about the concerns that have been raised that too much of a focus on adaptation could take away from the talks surrounding mitigation and may leave some parties thinking they no longer have to act to reduce their emissions.

He said this was naive and warned that if you do not mitigate you will be hitting barriers to adaptation very quickly. He said that countries need adaptation because mitigation will not be enough but will also need mitigation to make sure the impacts of climate change do not get so extreme that adaptation is no longer an option.

He said that while finance for adaptation is important – and finance for loss and damage (the effects of climate change that can not be adapted to) – he also stresses that adaptation planning, capacity building and technology transfer are also vital.