UK and Netherlands launch climate change adaptation study

The UK and the Netherlands have launched a new study that will help developing countries adapt to climate change, the Dutch Development Minister Bart Koenders, and UK Environment Minister Phil
Woolas, made the announcement at the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) conference taking place in Bali, Indonesia.

It is widely acknowledged that the world’s poorest countries will be among those hardest hit by climate change. The two-year study will be led by the World Bank, and is designed to help
developing countries understand how to prepare for and adapt to climate change. In this way the study will enable governments in developing countries take climate change into account when
drawing up development plans and goals. Funding for the initiative has been set at ?4 million.

‘Adaptation to climate change is vital,’ said Mr Woolas. ‘Any future climate deal needs to include adaptation to climate change as well as mitigation of it. But we also need to make sure that
those countries least able to afford the unavoidable impacts of climate change are supported in planning for and managing those impacts.’

‘There is no time left. We have to be crystal clear. Adaptation costs should be additional on the basis of the principle ‘the polluter pays’,’ added Mr Koenders.

Nicholas Stern, the economist whose report famously highlighted the economic costs of not tackling climate change, welcomed the new study.

‘Developing countries are increasingly understanding why they need to adapt,’ he commented. ‘We now need to start thinking about what this looks like in practice, and how to ensure that
development plans are sufficiently designed and budgeted for to both reduce poverty and build climate resilience. This study will help provide the tools and knowledge to enable this.’

‘Tackling poverty won’t succeed if development plans don’t take into account the potential long-term impacts of climate change,’ said UK Trade and Development Minister Gareth Thomas. ‘The more
developed a country is, the more it will be able to deal with natural disasters when they strike.’

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