Category Archives: Adaptation

The CDL’s policy briefings and scholarly articles from 2013


The following post provides a list of the CDL’s latest policy reports and scholarly articles published in 2013:

Scholarly Articles

2013 “No Talk, but Some Walk: The Obama Administration’s First Term Rhetoric on Climate Change and its International Climate Budget Commitments.” Graciela Kincaid and J. Timmons Roberts. Global Environmental Politics 13(4) November, 2013. Available online here.

2013 “The impact of climate change on human security in Latin America and the Caribbean” Úrsula Oswald Spring, Hans Günter Brauch, Guy Edwards and J. Timmons Roberts in Climate change and Human Security Handbook, Michael Redclift and Marco Grasso (eds.) Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. More information available here.

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Climate Equity, Not Fossil Fuel Subsidies

By David Ciplet and Timmons Roberts

It’s absurd — the countries least responsible for causing climate change are suffering worst and first from its impacts, including droughts, floods and famines. Meanwhile, wealthy countries continue to feed the problem by directing hundreds of billions of dollars to subsidize fossil fuel industries every year. In fact, the support they’ve offered those hit hardest is less than one percent what they give the polluters most driving climate change.

In 2009, these countries promised to end fossil fuel welfare once and for all. It is time that they met this promise. Redirecting this money to the Least Developed Countries and other vulnerable nations would help them to adapt to this new climate reality and level the playing level playing field for clean energy, spurring a transition to a sustainable economy.

In three weeks, representatives of the world’s nations will meet for talks on the United Nations’ climate change treaty. President Obama led the initial charge against handouts to Big Oil, but lost the political will to make it a reality. Hot off his reelection, Obama has a huge chance to be bold and start moving money from the problem to its solution. Sign the petition here — will deliver the petition to wealthy countries at the climate talks when we reach a critical mass!

El Salvador stresses adaptation to keep its head above water

By Adam Kotin

When devastating floods hit El Salvador in October 2011, 40% of the country’s crops were wiped out. Agricultural Minister José Guillermo López Suárez was forced to import the nation’s signature kidney beans all the way from China.

But sadly, this wasn’t a new experience for the fast-developing Central American nation. At a COP17 panel presentation, El Salvadoran Minister of the Environment Herman Rosa Chávez discussed the slew of extreme weather events his country has endured over the last several years.

For El Salvador, severe climate-related losses have almost become an annual rite.

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Just add cash for climate adaptation

By Spencer Fields

In this 2006 file photo, a woman walks past a building in Brikama, Gambia. Source: REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

It’s really quite simple. For the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), “funding is paramount,” to use the succinct summary provided by Pa Ousman Jarju, the Gambian chair of the LDC Group.

The Least Developed Countries have already written their National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs), comprehensive reports on their projects focused on adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

They have already prioritized the projects in order to address first those that require urgent and immediate attention. There even already exists a funding mechanism – the UN-created and Global Environment Facility-managed LDC Fund (LDCF) – to provide them with the financial resources they need to implement the projects.

As Jarju pointed out this week at the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa, all they need now is cash.

Seems straightforward, right? Continue reading

All talk no walk? How wealthy countries can meet their adaptation promises in Durban

By Spencer Fields and Dave Ciplet

As a part of the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, the rich nations of the world made a concrete dollar pledge to vulnerable countries experiencing the impacts of climate change worst and first.  Given that developing countries are the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and have the least capacity to fund mitigation, adaptation and disaster recovery, these countries are in dire need of funds.

What have the wealthy nations done to fulfill the pledges they made in Copenhagen and recommitted to in Cancun?  Not nearly enough, according to a recent report published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and authored by members of Brown’s Climate and Development Lab.  Continue reading

Peru Looks to Traditional Adaptation Practices to Cope with Climate Disruption

By Emily Kirkland*

This article was originally published on

In the absence of an international climate treaty to rapidly reduce global emissions, preparing for the impacts of climate change, from melting glaciers to longer droughts, is a crucial next step. Adapting to a warmer world will require the best in modern science and engineering. It will also require us to draw on traditional sources of knowledge from rural communities and Indigenous Peoples. Continue reading