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Adaptation

Adaptation (212)

Plan or React? Analysis of Adaptation Costs and Benefits Using Integrated Assessment Models

 

Global Climate Change (CC) resulting from an increasing concentration of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere has become an accepted and major theme in today‘s world.  According to the Intergovernmental Panel  on  Climate Change (IPCC), the average temperature of the earth increased by 0.6 ° C over the last century and it is expected to further increase by 1.4 to 5.8 º C by the end of the current century. These changes in temperature are but the crest of the many environmental, social  and  political  issues  which  will  follow in  the  wake of  the changing climate. Unfortunately the major causes of a rapidly warming climate can be attributed to anthropogenic activities such as the burning of fuel, the depletion of forests and changes in land use (conversion of forest into agriculture land).

 

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Climate change is an established fact and its impacts on water, agriculture, health, biodiversity, forest and socio-economic sectors are quite visible around the globe. According to IPCC (2007), developing and the least developed countries are expected to suffer more due to climate change as compared to the developed countries. This is true if we scale down this fact to the community level; in case of any climatic anomaly the poor people face the consequences due to lack of resources and access to information. Anthropogenic activities are mainly blamed to be responsible for the surging trend of climate related disasters occurring in different parts of the world and marginal income people are the major sufferers. After industrial revolution, emission of Green House Gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere increased drastically from industry and vehicular fossil fuel burning. Such gases have large warming potential and long life time to sustain warming process for decades to centuries. During 20th century, the increase in the global temperature was recorded as 0.76°C but in the first decade of this century 0.6°C rise has been noticed. Among 16 warmest years recorded over the globe, 9 top most were from the first decade of 21st century with ranks in decreasing order; 2010, 1998, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2009, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2001, 1997, 2008, 1995, 1999, 1990, 2000.

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Updated On January 2016.

It won’t happen to me” is a widely found syndrome. It is a tendency we observe more particularly in cases of extreme misfortune, especially in the face of  major disasters and accidents. While discussing possibility of such occurrences, the first thought in the minds of most of people, whereas very few think otherwise and accept, “Yes, it could happen to me.

 

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Imagine a situation where you and your vehicle are all set for a perfect smooth drive but you have no clue of your destination? Most probably, you will not able to even start your journey. Now just flip the situation where you are intending to go, you have drawn a map and have full realization of travel requirements but you have neither a car nor the fuel to translate your travel plan into actuality.

 

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A number of contributors provided valuable input during the preparation of this report. We would like to thank the Sindh Coastal Development Authority, the District Government of Badin, NDMA, PDMA Sindh, Laar Humanitarian and Development Program, and the Global Change Impact Studies Center. Our Colleagues at Oxfam Novib provided wonderful support by facilitating overall coordination and management during the process. We sincerely thank all the men and women that spared their time and participated in the community group discussions in different areas of Badin.

 

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Large fluctuations in energy prices have been a distinguishing characteristic of the U.S. economy since the 1970s. Turmoil in the Middle East, rising energy prices in the U.S. and evidence of global warming recently have reignited interest in the link between energy prices and economic performance. This paper addresses a number of the key issues in this debate: What are energy price shocks and where do they come from? How responsive is energy demand to changes in energy prices? How do consumers’ expenditure patterns evolve in response to energy price shocks? How do energy price shocks affect real output, inflation, stock markets and the balance-of-payments? Why do energy price increases seem to cause recessions, but energy price decreases do not seem to cause expansions? Why has there been a surge in gasoline prices in recent years? Why has this new energy price shock not caused a recession so far? Have the effects of energy price shocks waned since the 1980s and, if so, why? As the paper demonstrates, it is critical to account for the endogeneity of energy prices and to differentiate between the effects of demand and supply shocks in energy markets, when answering these questions.

 

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This Article outlines a role that human rights organizations in the United States and elsewhere can play in linking environmentally irresponsible conduct by governments and corporations to the violation of basic human rights. In addition, this Article identifies rights-based remedies for those violations. The goal is neither to assert a new right to a clean (or cooler) environment nor to prescribe specific climate change policies to governments or others. However, climate change and related environmental decisions made by governmental and corporate authorities must now take into account both procedural and substantive human rights and the impact of those decisions on the world’s poor. For the same reason, organizations committed to overcoming poverty, defending the environment, and protecting human rights should revise their tendency to view challenges, in developing nations and elsewhere, through a single lens and should pursue, either together or on parallel paths, an integrated vision of justice that takes into account economic equity, human rights, and respect for the natural and urban environment. Many U.S. human rights organizations have also ignored or treated as background the growing numbers of people living or dying in extreme poverty in the developing world. Yet climate change is certain to exacerbate the severe environmental and economic conditions already faced by billions of people. These conditions contribute to widespread violations of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights that are the central concern of human rights organizations.

 

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Climate change has been described as the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. World population is projected to reach 9.1 billion by 2050, with most of this growth in developing countries. While the principal cause of climate change is high consumption in the developed countries, its impact will be greatest on people in the developing world. Climate change and population can be linked through adaptation (reducing vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change) and, more controversially, through mitigation (reducing the greenhouse gases that cause climate change). The contribution of low-income, high-fertility countries to global carbon emissions has been negligible to date, but is increasing with the economic development that they need to reduce poverty. Rapid population growth endangers human development, provision of basic services and poverty eradication and weakens the capacity of poor communities to adapt to climate change. Significant mass migration is likely to occur in response to climate change and should be regarded as a legitimate response to the effects of climate change. Linking population dynamics with climate change is a sensitive issue, but family planning programmes that respect and protect human rights can bring a remarkable range of benefits. Population dynamics have not been integrated systematically into climate change science. The contribution of population growth, migration, urbanization, ageing and household composition to mitigation and adaptation programmes needs urgent investigation.

 

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The discussions about adaptation finance have mostly been about process: how money should be raised and how adaptation spending should be governed and monitored. This paper seeks to move the focus of the debate back towards the substance of adaptation by asking what “good adaptation” in developing countries would look like. We argue that the best use of funds in the short term may be for “soft”, or less tangible developmental activities that increase adaptive capacity. Building a minimum level of adaptive capacity everywhere is central to efficient, effective and equitable adaptation and yields immediate benefits irrespective of future climate regimes. We discuss a number of operational challenges in delivering this kind of adaptation, including a preoccupation with additional  – which makes the integration of adaptation and development harder – and a preference for “concrete” and more readily visible adaptation projects. We leave open the question of whether and how the adaptation regime that is emerging from the Cancun Agreements will be able to deliver wise adaptation decisions, but our analysis recognizes that further institutional development is required.

 

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This paper shows the extent to which people in Funafuti – the main island of Tuvalu – are intending to migrate in response to climate change. It presents evidence collected from Funafuti to challenge the widely held assumption that climate change is, will, or should result in large-scale migration from Tuvalu. It shows that for most people climate change is not a reason for concern, let alone a reason to migrate, and that would-be migrants do not cite climate change as a reason to leave. People in Funafuti wish to remain living in Funafuti for reasons of lifestyle, culture and identity. Concerns about the impacts of climate change are not currently a significant driver of migration from Funafuti, and do not appear to be a significant influence on those who intend to migrate in the future.

 

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