Summary report, 11–14 December 2009

Copenhagen Development and Climate Days at COP 15

The “Development and Climate Days at COP 15” event took place at The Concert House in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 11-14 December 2009. The event was held in parallel with the fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 5).

Development and Climate Days has been a feature of the UNFCCC negotiations since 2002. It provides an opportunity for participants to share information on key development and climate change issues. In Copenhagen, approximately 800 participants attended the four-day event, including representatives of governments, international organizations, academia, research institutes, business and non-governmental organizations. The event was organized by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the Stockholm Environment Institute, the RING alliance of policy research organizations, and the Capacity Strengthening of Least Developed Countries for Adaptation to Climate Change (CLACC). The event was sponsored by the UK Department for International Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

The event featured more than 70 speakers and numerous extended discussions and question-and-answer sessions. Over the four days, the event focused on the following issues:

  • land, water and forests (day one);
  • justice, ethics and humanitarian issues (day two);
  • planning adaptation (day three); and
  • mitigation, finance and the private sector (day four).

The event also included a film festival on climate and development issues, featuring short films from around the world.

This report summarizes the presentations and discussions held over the four days.


Climate change is considered one of the most serious threats to sustainable development, with adverse impacts expected on the environment, human health, food security, economic activity, natural resources and physical infrastructure. Global climate varies naturally, but scientists agree that rising concentrations of anthropogenically-produced greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the Earth’s atmosphere are leading to changes in the climate. Anthropogenic climate change is the result of increasing GHG emissions caused or influenced by development factors such as economic growth, technology, population and governance; and evidence of climate change impacts on both natural and human systems is increasing. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the effects of climate change have already been observed, and scientific findings indicate that precautionary and prompt action is necessary.

Until recently, climate change was viewed largely as an environmental concern of little relevance to development policy makers or practitioners. Likewise, development approaches have been given less attention than technological and natural science approaches focusing on reducing GHG emissions.

Nevertheless, unsustainable development is the underlying cause of climate change, and development pathways will determine the degree to which social systems are vulnerable to climate change. Climate change will have direct impacts on development with regard to climate-sensitive activities such as agriculture and indirect consequences on social issues such as poverty and education. Furthermore, climate change is likely to exacerbate inequalities due to the uneven distribution of damage, since poor communities tend to live on marginal lands and in areas prone to extreme weather events. Alternative development pathways will influence the capacity of communities and countries to adapt to climate change and will also determine future GHG emissions. As such, development policy and practice must address climate change issues.

While mitigation has traditionally been the pivotal issue for many climate change experts, adaptation to the effects of climate change is now acknowledged as necessary for responding effectively and equitably to the impacts of both climate change and climate variability. Adaptation has been implicitly and explicitly linked with development-focused action, particularly as the IPCC has underscored that developing countries are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change and lack adaptive capacity, a notion that is especially important for developing countries with growing economies. Therefore, attention will need to be paid to issues of particular importance to these vulnerable groups, including the management of water and other natural resources, agricultural activities, and the sources and generation of energy.

Development and Climate Days began as “Adaptation Day” in 2002 to discuss some of these issues. The Development Day was added in 2004 to bring in development practitioners who would not normally attend the UNFCCC negotiations, but had relevant information to share, and whose work might be influenced by the work of the climate change community. In 2007, the event was renamed Development and Climate Days to reflect that adaptation is now fairly well mainstreamed into the development agenda and that good adaptation presupposes development. The 2007 event, held alongside COP 13 in Bali, Indonesia, included panels on disaster reduction and extreme weather events, cities, health, financing adaptation, food and agriculture, community-based adaptation, and communicating for communities across sectors and timescales.

The event in 2008, which took place in parallel with COP 14 in Poznań, Poland, included discussions on: vulnerable groups; gender and climate change; children; the Arctic and small island developing States; rights and justice; policymaking in a changing climate; community-based adaptation; adaptation effectiveness; and adaptation funding.


Saleemul Huq, Senior Fellow, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), opened the Development and Climate Days event on Friday, 11 December, noting the growth of this event since its beginnings as a one-day gathering at the eighth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 8) in New Delhi, India, in 2002. He said the aim of this event is to bring people with a development interest or background to the climate negotiations. He observed that the event had also grown in scope beyond its initial focus on adaptation. He welcomed participants and anticipated a productive meeting.


Issues of land, water and forests were explored in a series of sessions held on 11 December. Sessions focused on integrating adaptation into development planning, arid land ecosystems, mountains and adaptation, and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD). In addition, an evening reception was held on “innovations, partnerships and solutions” in the context of adaptation.

INTEGRATING ADAPTATION INTO DEVELOPMENT PLANNING: This high-level panel session was organized by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and chaired by Saleemul Huq, IIED.

Presentations: Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark, identified Development and Climate Days as a critical event linking development, poverty reduction, adaptation, mitigation and climate change, and stressed Denmark’s longstanding support for this event. Highlighting the “unjust paradox” that those who suffer most from climate change have contributed least to the problem, she said local communities often hold the solutions and “small-scale farmers may hold large-scale answers.” She also stressed women’s role as crucial agents of change and said gender equality must be part of the COP 15 outcome. She drew attention to the Dialogue on Climate Change Adaptation for Land and Water Management, which resulted in the “Nairobi Principles” for adaptation to climate change. Identifying financing as a critical issue and ongoing discussions to provide US$10 billion per year from 2010-2012 as an initial step, Minister Tørnæs announced that Denmark has set aside US$240 million in new and additional funding as part of a new agreement.

Wangari Maathai, Greenbelt Movement founder, emphasized the linkages between climate change and development. She warned of the risks to development if countries do not take care of their natural, indigenous forests in tropical areas such as the Amazon, the Congo Basin and South-East Asia. She also highlighted the impacts of climate change at a local level, citing the example of Kenya, where a prolonged drought resulted in rivers drying, declines in agricultural productivity and the threat of starvation for one-quarter of Kenya’s population. She emphasized the role of good governance in setting appropriate policies and providing support to help local communities and farmers adapt appropriately. She said donor funding must be used responsibly and improve local capacity, not misappropriated by politicians or spent on international consultants. Ridiculing the “trickle down” theory, she said the only thing that trickles down is corruption, and good values must be established both at the government and community level.

Ditlev Engel, CEO and President of Vestas, discussed how to cut emissions while also fighting poverty. He underscored a bottom-up approach, sustainable job creation, and solutions that address water management. He highlighted the benefits of wind energy, which is available for deployment now, unlike some other forms of renewable energy. He outlined the work of Vestas in 63 countries, stressed his company’s commitment to long-term sustainability, and outlined its support for bottom-up approaches that involve local partnerships, capacity building and job creation. He noted the huge difference in water use from different energy sources, with dramatically higher water use associated with electricity from coal or oil compared to wind power.

Paul Collier, Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford University, underlined the vital importance of adaptation by citing the direct impact climate change will have on the future viability of crops and therefore on “mass hunger.” He stated that adaptation will require the adoption of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). He also proposed that Africa must shift from an agriculture-based to a service-based economy, suggesting that this will actually reduce carbon emissions. He labeled the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as a “scam” that was benefiting certain countries while diverting money away from Africa.

Discussion: In the ensuing discussion, participants highlighted mechanisms for addressing local behavior change in response to climate change, noting the opportunities for natural management techniques, government strategies to increase local participation in national forest goals, and the role of development assistance. Participants also questioned the use of GMO patents.

For more information, contact: Dorte Neimann <>

LAUNCH OF ALERTNET: Delegates were briefed by Laurie Goering of Thomson Reuters Foundation on the launch of “Alertnet: Climate,” a new website on the humanitarian impacts of climate change. The website:

ARID LAND ECOSYSTEMS: This session was organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and chaired by IFAD’s Rodney Cooke.

Presentations: Atiqur Rahman, IFAD, noted that arid land ecosystems have an estimated 1.3 billion inhabitants, including pastoralists and farmers. He explained that these areas are being adversely affected by extreme weather variability, desertification, salinity, over-exploitation of natural resources, loss of productivity, human displacement and conflicts. He outlined key issues for discussion in this session, including opportunities for mitigation in arid land ecosystems, adaptation options, and emerging financial mechanisms.

Peter Holmgren, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), spoke about mitigation opportunities. He supported sustainable land management (SLM), noting the role of soil in carbon sequestration and the need to avoid further carbon loss through desertification. He also discussed the prospects for REDD and the role of conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks – an approach known as “REDD-plus.” Noting that the UNFCCC and other processes tend to focus on one issue, he stressed the benefits of an integrated SLM approach that could combat desertification, alleviate rural poverty, increase food security, and mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Ced Hesse, IIED, emphasized local expertise in addressing environmental challenges. He urged efforts to understand and build on what is known at the local level, rather than trying to impose top-down answers and replace locally-tested solutions. He labeled as a “myth” the perception that local communities do not have the answers, and suggested that poor policies imposed by central authorities have undermined local responses. He suggested that traditional pastoralism involving mobile livestock is more productive than fixed farming models with sedentary livestock.

Nadim Khouri, IFAD, noted “unmet expectations” on what arid lands could potentially offer both in terms of mitigation and adaptation. He promoted the livelihoods approach to development, arguing that policy makers should seek to understand and support local strategies and solutions. He suggested that lands that are approaching or have already reached a “tipping point” should be the focus of increased support.

Alejandro Kilpatrick, Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, presented on the links between climate change, desertification and biodiversity loss in arid land ecosystems. He described scenarios that might arise from a Copenhagen outcome. In particular, he referenced two means for supporting dryland funding: the inclusion of agriculture, forestry, and land use (AFOLU) into a financial mechanism in an amended CDM; or financing through REDD-plus. He also listed ways to reduce emissions in agricultural, rural and land use sectors, including reduced fertilizer use and anaerobic digestion of waste, in addition to avoiding deforestation.

Cynthia Awuor, CARE, commented on adaptation finance. She explained that CARE’s focus includes adaptive capacity, increasing resilience through diversified livelihoods, and disaster risks. In terms of financing, she emphasized the need for greater budget flexibility, for instance allowing the inclusion of funds for emergencies. She underscored the need to link climate change adaptation with development policies, stressing the importance of education, technical skills training and alternative livelihood strategies.

Lars Otto Naess, Climate Change and Development Centre, Institute for Development Studies (IDS), emphasized the need to “unpack” climate change at the local level and said local institutions should be strengthened.

Discussion: Participants discussed local policy structures that enable shifts to new local industries, such as farmer-based agroforestry; financing streams for agriculture and energy; waste management; case studies for early warning for pastoralists; the opportunities for funding local adaptation; links between indigenous knowledge and existing adaptation strategies; and capacity building in general.

In response to a question about funding for local adaptation, Peter Holmgren said the international community fails to recognize that land use is a huge part of the problem and should make financing available for land management. He called for a more structured and long-term adaptation strategy.

Nadim Khouri then responded to a question on land ownership, noting that improved legal clarity on property rights leads to improvements in productivity.

In his closing remarks, Rodney Cooke noted the value of engaging with and educating the media on these issues. He noted that about one-third of emissions come from land use (14% from agriculture, 18% from deforestation). He also drew attention to the significant projected increase in people exposed to water stress in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions.

For more information, contact: Atiqur Rahman <>

MOUNTAINS AND ADAPTATION: LIVING WITH TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE WATER: This session was organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and chaired by ICIMOD’s Mats Eriksson.

Presentations: Ralph Lasage, IVM Institute for Environmental Studies, outlined the “adaptive water management at the local scale” (ADAPTS) initiative. He explained that the project aims to increase developing countries’ adaptive capacities by securing the inclusion of climate change and adaptation considerations in water policies, local planning and investment decisions. He also noted that the initiative analyzes and supports local water-related adaptation initiatives, working with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governments. He identified various challenges, including how to ensure that climate models and data support local actors in their strategic choices; ensuring sufficient local capacity and ownership; and securing future funding for adaptation that is both top-down and bottom-up.

Rahel Belete, Africa for Development (AfD), outlined results from the ADAPTS project in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, an arid and semi-arid region seriously affected by climate change. She explained that the project had secured multi-stakeholder involvement building sand dams, which improve the natural storage capacity of the riverbed and surrounding formations, and help reduce vulnerability to drought and floods.

Julie Dekens, ICIMOD, reported on studies focused on adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. She outlined examples of successful local adaptation strategies to deal with droughts and floods over many years, but warned that local knowledge is now either being lost or ignored at this critical time. She recommended that climate predictions should not be the central tool to guide adaptation, but that policy makers should focus on existing vulnerabilities in a “context of change” where climate change is one of a number of drivers of such change. She also suggested that local responses are influenced by larger trends and processes.

Participants then watched two short films. Ajaya Dixit, Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET)-Nepal, introduced the film “In the Grip of Drought,” pointing out that it shows a classic example of maladaptation in which segregation and resource theft are used as coping mechanisms. She reported that drought is a threat to two-thirds of Nepal’s people.

Julie Dekens, ICIMOD, presented the film “Living with Floods,” which shows that some communities are compelled to change their cultural norms in order to adapt to climate change.

Panel Discussion: Following the film presentations, ICIMOD Director General Andreas Schild convened a panel focused on mountain, water and adaptation policy, particularly for bottom-up approaches.

Ajaya Dixit, ISET-Nepal, said adaptation is the capacity to switch strategies in the face of constraints, and that this should set the context for drafting government adaptation policy.

Mohamed Ait Kadi, Chair of the Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership, stated that the contributions of institutions and processes are very important in this policy discussion. He described mountains as “the water towers of the world” providing water to at least 50% of the world’s population. He proposed a joint sustainable mountain management and water policy approach, as well as an integrated climate change and mountain policy. He concluded that mountains provide many positive externalities and that communities should receive compensation for these environmental services.

Discussion: In the ensuing discussion, one participant questioned whether an evolutionary approach based on local strategies is preferable to a transformative approach that looks at whether the current livelihoods systems are viable in the long-run and, if not, acts to make them viable. Another said governments need to work with local communities, which are best placed to understand the needs and threats to their local environment.

Reflecting on the discussions, Andreas Schild hoped that by COP 16 the key role of mountain regions would be sufficiently recognized in the UNFCCC process, and identified the Hindu Kush as a “climate hot spot.”

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REDD AND DEVELOPMENT: ENSURING THE INTEGRITY OF GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTIONS AND DEVELOPMENT BENEFITS: This session was organized by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and chaired by IISD’s John Drexhage. He listed several key issues for the REDD negotiations at COP 15, including questions over REDD-plus, the levels of monitoring and reporting, the use of current IPCC guidelines, exploration of transboundary cooperation to address leakage issues, and co-benefits.

Presentations: Dennis Garrity, Director General, World Agroforestry Centre, said REDD needs a broader approach. He described the idea of REDD-plus as a “whole landscape approach” that can address the drivers of deforestation and the issue of leakage while also enhancing broader participation and benefiting small-scale land owners. He also noted the substantial carbon sequestration potential on lands surrounding forests. Finally, he discussed co-benefits, proposing that REDD-plus could create joint benefits for adaptation, mitigation and food security.

Maryanne Grieg-Gran, IIED, argued that REDD needs to be coordinated with strategies for adaptation and development in agriculture. Noting projected population increases and changes in dietary habits, she said the required increases in food supply must be taken into account when developing REDD policies, which could potentially close off land-use options. She noted studies suggesting that both improvements in agricultural productivity and increases in land available for farming may be needed. She argued that because of these linkages, the forestry and agricultural communities should work together on REDD issues.

Pham Minh Thoa, Deputy Director General, Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam, reported on her country’s experience as a pilot country for REDD and its interest in a system for measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) REDD activities. She highlighted the importance of a suitable institutional framework, strong collaborative partnerships, avoiding the duplication of work, and a well-designed and developed system for MRV. She suggested that a system for supporting MRV at all levels is needed for both REDD actions and support.

George Wamukoya, Common Market for East and Southern Africa, noted the dependence on natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa and discussed how REDD interacts with trade, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability and food security. He said REDD can provide an opportunity for a paradigm shift in how we use our natural resources. He promoted efforts to take a transboundary perspective to REDD and to harness technology through sub-regional collaboration, and proposed developing a work programme on agriculture.

Discussions: John Drexhage opened the discussion, asking how useful a non-REDD-plus agreement would be. In response, George Wamukoya said negotiations must first clarify and compare REDD-plus and “REDD-plus-plus,” which includes agriculture. Pham expressed concern with the time constraints in Copenhagen, noting that REDD needs to follow the IPCC Good Practice Guidelines and that delegates must agree to MRV based on international requirements while also allowing for national and regional circumstances.

In response to a question about the links between carbon funding and agroforestry, Dennis Garrity clarified that carbon funding would be used to accelerate the transition to agroforestry and therefore accelerate carbon storage capacity.

One participant emphasized that the financial benefits of REDD must filter down to local communities, and stressed the role of local people in MRV, since remote sensing has its limits. Another participant outlined a project to re-plant multi-purpose indigenous tree species, which are a source of food and other benefits. He also supported the concept of “community forests.”

Responding to a question about whether an agreement must include REDD-plus-plus, George Wamukoya said this would be desirable, since it includes agriculture, but that we should move forward on REDD even if REDD-plus-plus is not secured at this point.

Reflecting on the discussions, John Drexhage said he was astounded at how quickly the REDD agenda had gained traction in the UNFCCC process and this is a real achievement in a short space of time.

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ADAPTATION RECEPTION: On Friday evening, 11 December, the Stockholm Environment Institute and Global Climate Adaptation Partnership (SEI) hosted a reception and interactive discussion that included Wangari Maathai and several other speakers talking about “innovations, partnerships and solutions.” The reception also showcased the Google Earth/weADAPT online tour of forests and livelihoods.


Justice, ethics and humanitarian issues were considered in four sessions held on 12 December. These sessions focused on gender and equality, climate change and migration, ethical and human rights in the context of adaptation policy, and population dynamics and climate change. In addition, a new report, “Other Worlds are Possible: Human Progress in an Age of Climate Change,” was launched. Richard Klein, the SEI, served as master of ceremonies for the day’s events.

GENDER EQUALITY: This session was organized by the Global Gender and Climate Alliance and the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). It was facilitated by WEDO Chair Monique Essed-Fernandes, who identified an emerging consensus on the significance of gender in the context of climate change. She drew attention to the work of the Global Gender and Climate Change Alliance. She also discussed a new publication, “Climate Change Connections: A Resource Kit on Climate, Population and Gender,” produced by WEDO and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). She emphasized women’s roles as agents of change, not just as a group of vulnerable people.

Presentations: Yianna Lambrou, FAO, reported on preliminary results from research on gender and climate shifts in Andhra Pradesh, India. She reported the study’s findings that gender affects how people view and respond to climate change. In terms of coping strategies, she noted that women are more likely to look for wage labor close to home, while men are more inclined to migrate. She also highlighted the study’s findings that discrimination is more common on the basis of gender than caste or land ownership.

Cheryl Anderson, Social Science Research Institute, University of Hawaii, spoke about women’s knowledge and contribution to adaptation in the Pacific. She stressed women’s knowledge in identifying low-cost adaptation methods and women’s increased presence in technical fields such as meteorology. She also highlighted the importance of community outreach, institutional collaboration and education. She concluded that failure to acknowledge multiple knowledge systems could lead to a chronic and ongoing need for disaster relief, more welfare problems and displacement.

Angelina Mensah, Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, observed that women play a significant role in agriculture and emphasized the social, economic and political effects of flooding, droughts, and conflicts. She highlighted that women are most affected by migration and the health issues resulting from climate change, including sexual violence, increases in malaria, and constraints on education. She underlined the need to mainstream gender into climate change and development and called for gender-sensitive strategies in response to the climate crisis.

Participants then watched a short film from the Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development and IFAD. The film showed that women comprise the majority of farmers in this region and declared sustainable agriculture to be a key solution to climate change for these small farmers. It illustrated how new weather conditions caused by climate change have increased the use of pesticides, which contribute to greenhouse gases (GHGs) and negatively impact long-term crop yields. The film called for a climate fund to assist with these issues.

Discussion: In the ensuing discussion, one participant highlighted work in the US on gender identity and agriculture that has led to alternative farming and local-level change. Yianna Lambrou highlighted cultural issues and “baggage” that needs to be considered. She also said solutions in one region may not be applicable in others.

Participants discussed bringing a gender perspective to the UNFCCC negotiations, displacement and migration, and experiences in an indigenous community. On how to balance concepts of women as both agents of change and a vulnerable group, Cheryl Anderson urged identifying and supporting women’s existing capacities as agents of change.

Participants also discussed how youth can be agents of change. Angelina Mensah said youth could rein in a tendency towards consumerism, suggesting that “one pair of Reeboks is enough, not two.” She added that youth can bring their vigor and voices to the debate. Yianna Lambrou said young women can be long-term agents of change, stressed the crucial role of education, and said times of crisis can create the “space for change.”

For more information, contact: <>

CLIMATE CHANGE AND MIGRATION: This session was organized by SEI and the Climate Change, Environment and Migration Alliance (CCEMA). It was chaired by SEI’s Tom Downing and Jenty Kirsch-Wood of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Presentations: Sujatha Byravan, Centre for Development Finance, raised the issue of political protection, legal issues and statelessness with respect to human rights, questioning whether migrants have protection and where such rights should be affirmed. She noted that sea-level rise was causing salt water intrusion, coastal erosion and forced displacement, and said 630 million people are expected to migrate as a result of sea-level rise. She emphasized the difference between “climate migrants” (those forced to migrate due to climate change impacts) and “climate exiles” (people rendered stateless with no possibility of returning).

Mohamed Hamza, SEI, underscored the need to move beyond the question of whether climate migration is happening and beyond the challenge of defining environmental migration, which focuses on debating whether people are actually forced to move. He observed that environment is one of many drivers for migration and that we need to know more about its relative impact. He also mentioned that lack of financial and social resources creates tenuous situations where people are unable to migrate.

Tina Acketoft, Member of Parliament of Sweden, noted the need for a legal toolbox and emphasized the gender perspective. She suggested that migration should not be viewed just as a “problem” but also as an opportunity. She rejected the argument that legislation enshrining the right to a safe environment should not be considered because it would overwhelm the European Court of Human Rights.

Chella Rajan, Indian Institute of Technology, highlighted various options for addressing climate change migration, including bilateral arrangements, internal mechanisms, and an international treaty. He supported a new UN treaty or convention to protect climate migrants and exiles. He said such a treaty could confer political and legal rights on individuals and create a framework for host country responsibilities, noting that the European Union (EU) and US are historically responsible for most climate change.

Discussion: In the ensuing discussion, participants raised issues of cultural identity in the context of migration. They also discussed: a proposal to add migration as a fifth “pillar” in the climate talks in addition to adaptation, mitigation, finance, and technology; food insecurity; and temporary migration.

Responding to questions of legal rights and the appropriate body to address them, Mohamed Hamza and Sujatha Byravan suggested that it would not be appropriate to try to reopen the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Sujatha Byravan said a separate treaty on the rights of stateless people could be needed.

In response to questions about obstacles to an international treaty and problems with definitions, Chella Rajan said these challenges may be complex but can be solved. He suggested that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities is a sound starting point for resolving some of these issues.

On a question about definitions, Mohamed Hamza said migration is adaptation when it is voluntary, but not when it is forced. He also suggested that “internationalizing” the whole issue could play into the hands of groups seeking to switch the focus towards security in the North and away from the rights of displaced people.

Reflecting on the session, Jenty Kirsch-Wood identified the various approaches discussed, including treating migration primarily as a development challenge, developing a new treaty, or launching a new international court.

Participants also watched the short film, “Where is My Home?”

For more information, contact: <>

ETHICAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS IMPLICATIONS OF ADAPTATION POLICY FORMATION: This session was organized by Penn State University and chaired by Nancy Tuana, Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State University. She observed that ethics had taken on a greater prominence at COP 15 than at earlier negotiations because people increasingly recognize climate change as a justice issue.

Presentations: Maxine Burkett, University of Hawaii, spoke about human rights and the justice implications of adaptation. She observed that countries with the fewest resources are likely to bear the greatest burden of climate change in terms of loss of life and relative effect on investment and economy. In terms of vulnerability and rights, she highlighted the need for improved monitoring and forecasting so that vulnerable groups have full access to information. She also advocated appropriate economic policies and exploring issues of community-based adaptation.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Inuit advocate, highlighted the objective of the UNFCCC, which is the “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” She argued that, by allowing emissions growth to continue almost unchecked, the international community has already failed in this undertaking and allowed such dangerous interference. She said a human rights approach could shift the focus away from economic, scientific and technical debates that often prove to be obstacles to action, and said a Copenhagen outcome must reflect the human rights perspective.

Petra Tschakert, Penn State University, highlighted the importance of the climate justice debate for the Adaptation Fund. She said the Fund should contain US$75-100 billion each year, assuming 2°C warming. She emphasized the need both for compensation for climate impacts from those who are historically responsible for climate change, and for development assistance as part of the North’s “humanitarian duty.” She also highlighted the ethical, justice and risk implications of “quick fixes” such as geo-engineering.

Donald A. Brown, Penn State University, said the climate change debate does not give humanitarian issues a sufficient focus. He underscored the “no harm rule,” which he said is ignored by the UNFCCC. He also suggested that the IPCC focuses too heavily on cost-benefit analysis rather than a rights-based metric.

Discussion: In the ensuing discussion, Richard Klein, SEI, responded to Donald Brown’s comments about the IPCC, noting that both the Third and forthcoming Fifth Assessment Reports include a strong focus on equity issues.

Participants also discussed whether the “no harm” concept is actually attainable in the context of climate change, and how to enforce the obligation to protect human rights. Petra Tschakert said the Adaptation Fund Board has not yet adopted a rights-based approach.

Another focus of the discussions was the need to promote a sense of “entitlement” and “duty” rather than on approaches that identify those most affected by climate change as “victims.” Responding to a question about vulnerability, Maxine Burkett supported compensation for historical responsibility, rather than viewing such support as “charity.”

For more information, contact: <>

POPULATION DYNAMICS AND CLIMATE CHANGE: This session was organized by UNFPA and moderated by Camilla Toulmin, IIED.

Presentations: José Miguel Guzmán, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), highlighted the new publication from UNFPA and IIED, “Population Dynamics and Climate Change.” He underscored that most environmental challenges become more complex when population size changes rapidly. However, he added that it is not just population size, but also composition, age, sex, health status and other factors that are relevant. He made it clear that the UN is not trying to link climate change with population control. He also highlighted linkages between reproductive health, women’s empowerment and improved climate change adaptation.

George Martine, UNFPA, noted that climate change has re-ignited the population-environment debate. He disputed the widespread belief that birth control is a simple solution to both over-population and environmental problems, and suggested that attempts at population control without development are unlikely to succeed. He said access to sexual and reproductive health services are valuable, but have limitations as an intervention on climate change. Noting rapid urbanization, he proposed that a focus on urban growth could assist climate mitigation and reduce vulnerability if policies focus on the needs of the poor.

Clive Mutunga, Population Action International, noted that although National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) consider population growth as a contributing factor to climate change, only six NAPAs explicitly recognize reproductive health and family planning as an adaptation strategy. He emphasized that 27 of the 49 least developed countries (LDCs) are projected to at least double their populations by 2050, and that there is a high correlation between unmet reproductive planning needs and low climate resilience.

Linda Eriksson Baca, International Organization for Migration, said there is a two-way relationship between population and environment, in that environmental change results in migration and migration also creates an environmental footprint. However, she emphasized that the impact of migration can be positive, especially in diversifying livelihoods. She referenced changing perceptions of migration and said migration should be a part of adaptation strategies.

Discussion: Responding to a question about reproductive health, José Miguel Guzmán said reproductive health is about empowering women and this has a direct link to climate adaptation, resilience and reducing vulnerability.

One participant noted the historical link between population growth rates and women’s education, and asked how to break the cycle between improved education and increased resource consumption. In response, George Martine said it is a question of values and culture. He suggested that as long as we define happiness as the ownership of more goods and economic growth, we will have an ongoing problem. He proposed socializing future generations in a way that can save our planet.

Reflecting on the discussions, Camilla Toulmin noted observations on the importance of investing in reproductive health to build resilience and strengthen adaptation, and the potential positive role of urban areas in climate mitigation and resilience.

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REPORT LAUNCH – “OTHER WORLDS ARE POSSIBLE”: Following the formal sessions on 12 December, a new report was launched entitled, “Other Worlds are Possible: Human Progress in an Age of Climate Change.” The report was the sixth from the Working Group on Climate Change and Development.


Planning adaptation was the theme considered in four sessions held on 13 December. These sessions focused on: negotiating climate information needs for improved humanitarian response and rural livelihoods; community-based adaptation; national adaptation planning; and emerging themes on adaptation. Simon Anderson, IIED, served as master of ceremonies for the day’s events.


This session was organized by the International Development Research Center (IDRC), International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Climate Centre. The session was chaired by Claude Jibidar, West Africa Regional Bureau, UN World Food Programme.

Presentations: Pablo Suarez, IFRC Climate Centre, opened the session with a role playing activity on forecasts and risk. The activity showed participants how difficult it can be to make decisions about humanitarian interventions based on existing climate forecasting.

Simon Mason and Bhupinder Tomar, IFRC Climate Centre, observed that it is difficult to make decisions about humanitarian interventions even when the forecast seems to be very clear. Bhupinder Tomar said that since “forecasts are made by forecasters for forecasters,” information is often “lost in translation” for those working in the humanitarian response sector. He explained that the service provided by forecasters is not what is needed by the humanitarian sector. He emphasized that early warning should mean lead times longer than just a few hours or even days. He also commented on the disconnect between the available science and local needs, indicating that the spatial scales for forecasts can be too large for what is needed and not necessarily useful for understanding impacts.

Simon Mason added that there are differences between what forecasters think is useful information and what those working in the humanitarian field find useful. He said clarity is needed to make climate information easier to understand. He explained that the IFRC is working to translate the language of climatologists so it can be understood by humanitarian professionals, and described a second effort that uses digital maps to provide qualitative data on relative forecast risk.

Said Hounkponou, Strengthening the Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change in Rural Benin (PARBCC), discussed national and local practices for addressing weather risk, noting that a national system and the meteorological service works in conjunction with agriculture and environment ministries, local institutions and other stakeholders. He emphasized the need to improve capacity by building trust between national services and their extension programmes.

Paul Mapfumo, University of Zimbabwe, spoke about the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) initiative on resilience and the smallholder farmer aimed at enhancing the capacity of communities to adapt to climate change in Southern Africa. He identified a disconnect between those who produce seasonal forecasts and the consumers of this information (smallholder farmers). He suggested that a platform involving a range of stakeholders was needed for sharing such information with farmers. He also observed that farmers often feel that their local/indigenous knowledge is sidelined when official forecasts are delivered. While stressing that there are no silver bullet scenarios, he said that locally-relevant solutions are achievable.

Boniface Mbilinyi, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania, reported on a CCAA project in Eastern Africa aimed at managing risk, reducing vulnerability and enhancing productivity under a changing climate. Noting that this regional is vulnerable to drought and dependent on rainfed agriculture, he explained that the project sought to connect with communities and identify how climate information could be of use to farmers in their decision making. He stressed a stakeholder-based approach to help farmers assess risks and benefit from climate forecasting and other sources of information.

Discussion: Participants raised several concerns, including how to increase connections between weather forecasters and local communities, the structure of national planning teams and the role of local institutions. Bhupinder Tomar noted that humanitarian groups are less advanced when it comes to understanding urban risk and said involving local governments to share planning experiences is helpful.

Participants also questioned the trust between meteorologists and agricultural extension agents; the accountability of extension agents; the receptivity of communities to national information; and the cultural challenges involving traditional rainmakers. Claude Jibidar emphasized the need to boost all adaptation and mitigation work through the provision of appropriate forecasting information.

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COMMUNITY-BASED ADAPTATION: This session was organized by the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) and IIED. It was chaired by Atiq Rahman, BCAS, who observed that adaptation is already happening, is context specific, and is primarily occurring at the community level. Noting that local communities are not waiting on “crazy discussions” at the multilateral level on the Adaptation Fund or for external support before taking adaptive measures, he said the challenge was to support local actions.

Presentations: Bertha Nherera, Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Zimbabwe, outlined experiences working with women in rural communities in Zimbabwe. She highlighted various adaptation challenges, including increased frequency and severity of droughts and water shortages. She also reported on adaptation policies, including the use of bore holes to access ground water, more suitable crops and seed varieties, timely planting to cope with changes in the seasons, infrastructure development to improve access to markets, and support for local businesses that are not dependent on agriculture.

Bettina Koelle, Indigo Development and Change, spoke about experiences in South Africa aimed at increasing resilience. She reported on a rooibos tea plant project that engaged with youth and women at the community level. She highlighted the “participatory action research approach,” which includes local-record keeping though a “climate diary” to help inform farmers’ decisions. On lessons learned, she said successful adaptation requires a pro-active approach that generates enthusiasm and a sense of local ownership. She stressed that there are no “quick fix” technical solutions and argued against a fear-based approach.

Tanjir Hossain, ActionAid Bangladesh, discussed community-based adaptation in Bangladesh. He highlighted work to strengthen community efforts to improve resilience to flooding, and emphasized the value of collaborative partnerships with other NGOs and stakeholders. He also noted the value of engaging with the landless as well as landowners. He suggested that adaptation projects only work if you address people’s immediate needs and take development and poverty concerns into account.

Thomas Tanner, IDS, highlighted the disaster risk reduction perspective and indicated that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. He identified the potential role of children as active participants rather than simply passive victims. In this regard, he indicated that gender is critical, noting that girls and women are more likely to be aware of health risks, whereas boys and men are more likely to be concerned about livelihoods. He added that climate risks are closely associated with economic and social risks, and that children can often offer “out-of-the-box” solutions.

Angie Daze, CARE, spoke about a new CARE initiative, the “Adaptation Learning Programme for Africa.” She explained that the programme seeks to develop best practice models, empower local communities, influence decision makers and promote learning on community-based adaptation among adaptation professionals. She noted that the programme also seeks to ensure that vulnerable people have a voice in planning, policy making and funding decisions, as well as to link local communities to local and central governments, as well as to civil society.

Delfin Ganapin, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Small Grants Programme, outlined work to develop a global partnership on community-based adaptation that brings together UN agencies, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders. He outlined work on an initial pilot project, which he said had been expanded with support from USAID. He expressed the hope that the initiative could be scaled-up based on lessons learned to date. He also noted with regret that NGOs and local communities have not been able to access the CDM, and urged steps to ensure this does not happen with adaptation initiatives now that more funding is likely.

Discussion: In the subsequent discussion, participants expressed concerns with the costs of coping mechanisms and community-level access to funding. They also discussed indicators used to monitor the effects of coping mechanisms, the ability to learn lessons from case studies, the role of cultural and religious institutions, and the role of health in community-based adaptation. One participant noted that 3-4°C warming is likely and wondered if other approaches were being considered if community-based adaptation is not sufficient. Atiq Rahman took note of comments on scaling-up and the role of local government.

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NATIONAL ADAPTATION PLANNING: This session was organized by ISET and chaired by ISET’s Marcus Moench. He identified some core factors involved in national adaptation planning, including education, access to basic services, linkages between national strategies and the local ability to adapt, and allowing adaptation to be scaled-up.

Presentations: Ajaya Dixit, ISET-Nepal, discussed national and local adaptation planning in Nepal, emphasizing their combined top-down and bottom-up approach. He introduced the idea of the “adaptation iceberg” where the planned adaptation activities represent the tip of the iceberg and extensive autonomous adaptation is represented by the larger, sub-surface ice. He emphasized the need for more creative responses to the gap between planned and autonomous adaptation.

Shiraz Wajhi, Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group, discussed urban adaptation processes, which are a key goal of the Asian Climate Change Resilience Network. He emphasized the need for both preventive measures and responses, stressing natural, behavioral and policy levels of action. He said adaptation problems need proper political convergence and discussed weaknesses in current governance.

Pramita Harjati, Mercy Corps, presented three case studies on the national perspectives of urban adaptation planning in Indonesia. She described the components to national climate strategies, remarking that adaptation is a key part, particularly for coastal zones, fisheries, small islands and marine life. However, she noted that urban adaptation is not yet included in this plan, although an informal urban network has started work in several cities.

Sajid Raihan, ActionAid Bangladesh, spoke about community-based adaptation and disaster risk reduction planning in Bangladesh. He emphasized pro-poor policies, suggested that disaster risk reduction planning would benefit from longer-term perspectives that take into account climate impact scenarios, and argued that the primary focus should be on building capacities rather than on developing or replicating models. He also underscored the need for political will, a belief in people’s ability to adapt, and people’s right to development.

Pius Yanda, Pan-African START Secretariat, discussed a project on capacity building for conserving biodiversity in the Albertine Rift region. He explained that this region is viewed as a biodiversity “hotspot” that provides vital ecosystem services to local communities. He identified threats to the region, including climate change and local drivers such as population growth and landscape change. He reported that the aim of the project is to build capacity by educating conservation professionals about strategies for conserving biodiversity and protecting ecosystems under a changing climate. He also outlined the project’s focus on education and training programmes.

Marcus Moench, ISET, spoke about learning processes when developing effective local and national responses under conditions of uncertainty. He underscored the importance of linkages between action at the national and local levels, as well as the value of an iterative learning process. He supported efforts to understand the systemic sources of vulnerability, promote systemic awareness in order to reach solutions, and utilize economics as a source of power.

Ian Burton, University of Toronto, raised concerns about how to link international financing and institutions to adaptation efforts on the ground. Observing that a substantial amount of money may be about to come out of the current UNFCCC negotiations, he stated that the linkages are not yet in place to connect international donor support to the local and even national levels. He also drew attention to the role of sub-national level actors.

Discussion: In the ensuing discussion, participants discussed the level of synergies between national adaptation and national development plans, how national strategy planning is informed by local knowledge and resource access, and the role of technology.

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EMERGING THEMES ON ADAPTATION: This high-level, interactive panel session was organized by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and chaired by WRI President Jonathan Lash, who reported that the next World Resources Report is focused on adaptation. During the session, Jonathan Lash and other participants asked questions of a panel comprised of Veerle Vandeweerd (UNDP), Angela Cropper (UN Environment Programme (UNEP)), Atiq Rahman (BCAS), and Warren Evans (World Bank).

Veerle Vandeweerd answered a question on what are the most important, unresolved adaptation issues, listing urban adaptation, maladaptation (that is, not building with future climate trends in mind), and the failure to change how we approach development. On a question about governance, she said adaptation differs from mitigation because it is solely a local issue. However, she noted that because adaptation is unlikely to receive the estimated US$96 billion it needs annually from the donor community, there must also be a focus on mobilizing domestic resources, because countries will mostly have to pay for their own adaptation. On a question about making the existing architecture work well, she said an MRV system must include poverty eradication indicators.

Angela Cropper replied to a question about whether adaptation will become a focal area for UNEP, saying that UNEP is trying to systematize a body of knowledge and practice with a particular focus on ecosystem-based adaptation. Noting significant gaps in understanding on how to manage ecosystems sustainably, she said managing ecosystems for adaptation is even more challenging. Responding to a question on how operational decisions will be made, she said a governance framework for understanding and making local, national and regional decisions is needed.

Atiq Rahman, BCAS, answered a question about adaptation challenges for Bangladesh. He noted risks to 30% of the population and stressed that international funding is critical because the problem is too big for the country to tackle on its own. In response to a question on how to ensure that funding is forthcoming and does not end up in the wrong hands, he said it was imperative that world leaders demonstrate the political will and provide large-scale funding support. He did not accept the excuse that there was insufficient money available simply because of the losses made by “inefficient, incompetent bankers” in New York, London and other major cities. Answering a question about how NGOs can access future funds and not miss out, he said funding for NGOs was essential because they are often better placed to respond to immediate needs, and without them governments will not be able to deliver what is required. He also said NGOs must ensure that they are accountable and transparent.

Warren Evans, World Bank, responded to a question about whether large sums of adaptation funding can be spent effectively by indicating that climate change needs to be better understood and integrated by the development community. On a question about the distribution of funds, he stated that: high quality development requires good governance; the best adaptation measures are simply through direct policy reforms; a large portion of the funding is needed from the public sector; and it is necessary to have a regulatory framework. However, he suggested that the challenge would be greater if the US$96 billion was on the table tomorrow.

One participant disagreed with comments that there is not sufficient knowledge and argued instead that it is a failure of international organizations to build the right architecture to tap into existing knowledge. Warren Evans agreed that there were some adaptation veterans, but argued that there was a broad gap in knowledge and that Bangladesh is one of the few countries to have made serious progress in integrating climate change with development. Responding to a question about whether developing countries will be able to integrate adaptation into their wider planning processes within the next five years, Warren Evans highlighted a pilot programme to help mainstream climate resilience into countries’ Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and development programmes.

At the end of the session, Jonathan Lash asked each panelist what needs to be achieved at COP 15 and in the coming weeks. Veerle Vandeweerd said Copenhagen should be a “development deal” and international organizations should start to scale-up the tools and mechanisms needed. Warren Evans said international organizations could propose ideas to minimize new bureaucratic structures and transaction costs so that things can happen quickly and efficiently if the funding is forthcoming.

Angela Cropper highlighted the experience within the UN system on managing funds, and said efforts could also focus on providing the necessary information and technical support to ensure a prompt start. Atiq Rahman said Copenhagen must result in a commitment for major reductions in GHG emissions, “serious money on the table,” and efforts by international agencies to improve and step up their performance so that recipient communities receive the support they need.

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Mitigation, finance and the private sector was the theme considered in four sessions held on 14 December – the fourth and final day of the meeting. These sessions focused on: moving to a low carbon pathway; alternative financing for adaptation; the role of the private sector in adaptation; and what the most vulnerable countries want from the negotiations. Saleemul Huq, IIED, served as master of ceremonies for the day’s events.

MOVING TO A LOW CARBON PATHWAY: This session was organized by IISD and chaired by IISD’s John Drexhage. He noted that the Development and Climate Days event has evolved and grown from its original adaptation focus several years ago, and welcomed the opportunity to also consider issues of mitigation and financing. He highlighted the opportunity provided by this event as a “safe haven” outside the formal negotiations to consider issues that may still be controversial, and thanked Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (Danida) in particular for its support that enabled this event to be extended from two days to four.

Presentations: Eric Haites, Margaree Consultants Inc., highlighted the need for major increases in investment and shifts in financial flows. He distinguished between investments (such as capital spending on a new wind turbine or irrigation scheme) and shifts in financial flows (such as through certified emission reductions or international grants). He explained that financial flows can influence investment, and added that since most investment comes from the private sector, we need to find ways to influence this. In terms of mitigation, he noted that energy efficiency offers large potential for emissions reductions, but is complicated since it requires small investments by many stakeholders such as homeowners and commercial building owners. Noting that CDM has not received much investment in energy efficiency, he said national appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) could be a good vehicle for this. He suggested that power generation may be another area for mitigation in developing countries, including carbon capture and storage.

Kim Chan-woo, Director-General of the International Cooperation Office, Ministry for Environment of the Republic of Korea, said his country had announced “green growth” strategies aimed at harmonizing environmental protection and economic development. He outlined strategies to move towards a low-carbon society and energy security, create new engines for growth, enhance quality of life and provide international leadership. In the UNFCCC negotiations, he highlighted his country’s “bridging role” between developed and developing countries and its proposal for an international registry for registering NAMAs.

Syamsidar Thamrin, Ministry of National Development Planning, Indonesia, listed food security, energy, and environment and disaster management among the top national priorities in the 2010-2014 low-carbon road map. She proposed a 26% emissions reduction by 2020 from business-as-usual across five sectors, indicating that international support could further increase emissions reductions to 41%. She underlined that these reductions do not consider nuclear energy. She announced that a new international funding mechanism, the Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund, will support projects on energy, forestry, peatlands and adaptation.

Karen Holm Olsen, UNEP Risoe Centre, presented “NAMAs and the Carbon Market,” a UNEP publication focused on scaling-up mitigation projects.

Discussion: Responding to a question about energy subsidy reform, participants noted significant subsidies in a number of countries and the difficulties involved in addressing this issue. Replying to a question about LDCs and NAMAs, John Drexhage said that if LDCs focus only on adaptation they will have few opportunities to integrate with the private sector.

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ALTERNATIVE FINANCING FOR ADAPTATION: This session was organized by ActionAid and IIED and was chaired by Benito Müller, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

Presentations: Martin Parry, Grantham Institute and Centre for Environmental Policy, highlighted the significant differences between UN and World Bank estimates of around US$50-100 billion needed annually for adaptation by 2030, and alternative estimates of up to US$400 billion. He suggested that the lower estimates only consider “climate-added trauma” and not the wider “adaptation deficit” or ecosystem-related costs. He also stressed that developed countries are currently offering much smaller figures of around US$10 billion now, increasing to US$100 billion later. Noting the North’s concerns over spending the money effectively and comments by UNEP and others on the need to prioritize spending, he said there had been a failure by UNEP and others to codify and systematize the process. He said UNEP is best placed to address this need.

Ilana Solomon, ActionAid, evaluated several existing funds against key principles for achieving equitable adaptation finance. Identifying these principles, she highlighted the need for: representative governance; participation of women and affected communities; sustainable and compensatory funding that is new, additional and separate from Official Development Assistance (ODA); and the removal of any economic conditionalities. She argued that financing should be accessed by governments or national entities directly from a central fund, without being channeled through implementing agencies such as UNDP or UNEP. Reviewing two existing funds, she said the World Bank’s Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR), is not performing well in terms of governance, participation, conditionality or access. However, she praised the Adaptation Fund for being participatory, transparent, free of conditionality, and under the COP/MOP. She concluded with a call for a new global climate fund under the COP.

Simon Anderson, IIED, discussed governance and delivery of climate adaptation financing. He reported on an evaluation of the LDC Fund, which found that the Fund achieved the full cost of national adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs). However, he added that funding to implement priority projects identified under countries’ NAPAs had been problematic. He suggested that heavy bureaucracy had delayed funding, international consultants had been used in favor of building local capacity, and women and gender considerations had been largely missing. He noted recent efforts by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and its implementing agencies to streamline procedures to access funds. He also suggested that the Adaptation Fund had a better track record in terms of direct access, accountability and innovative funding.

Nanki Kaur, IIED, highlighted recent debates over project versus programmatic approaches, noting that programmatic approaches had been proposed to address concerns over national ownership, efficiency and more “fragmented” project-based funding. However, she noted developing country concerns that a focus on programmatic approaches now could delay implementation of short-term emergency response measures and would ignore the need to climate-proof existing projects. She suggested that completing the NAPA process could address some of these concerns, since many projects could then be scaled-up. She also noted work on project clustering.

Benito Müller argued for devolving decision making to the country level, noting that no donor agency or international institution had the capacity to manage a dramatic increase in funding.

Discussion: Several participants raised concerns over the equal distribution of funds. Ilana Solomon said distribution should be considered both among countries as well as within countries. She said support for the LDCs should be incorporated into a global climate fund and that they should receive priority. Alternatively, Simon Anderson felt that distribution should depend on absolute amounts available and should focus on equality first and equity second. Benito Müller said we should forget indices and establish a per country component that allows everyone to get some funding while also proportioning the rest to poor people, a formula he called “not being unreasonably unfair.”

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THE ROLE OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN ADAPTATION: This session was organized by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and chaired by GRI’s Teresa Fogelberg.

Presentations: Lloyd Chingambo, Lloyds Financials Limited, identified the lack of finance and knowledge as two key constraints to the CDM in sub-Saharan Africa. He presented two innovative financing mechanisms that could address this gap: the Low Green Technology Credit Enrichment (GTCEF) and the Low Carbon Africa Fund. He said the GTCEF acts as a risk-sharing mechanism that also provides financial and moral guarantees to make people comfortable to lend, while being dynamic and adaptable.

Minh Cuong Le Quan, Renewable Energy, Environment, and Solidarity Group (GERES), discussed a case study on sustainable business in Cambodia. He highlighted local climate “solidarity,” noted that cook stoves are selling without subsidies, and suggested that the private sector is keen to collaborate. He said GERES sells voluntary offsets in the French market, is working with heavily-polluting companies in industry and transportation as well as NGOs, and monitors the impacts felt by rural people.

Pablo Suarez, UNDP Environment Finance Group, emphasized that insurance can play a role in the adaptation process and has the potential to benefit poor people. He engaged in a role playing exercise which illustrated a crop-loss scenario, concluding that without insurance instruments poor farmers will suffer while waiting for adaptation funding to come through.

Tejas Ewing, New Economics Foundation, discussed voluntary offsets in the context of adaptation and the “AdMit” initiative that set standards for adaptation projects. He noted that adaptation is hugely underrepresented in the carbon market, which he said has not yet addressed the equity issue. Noting the private sector has found the most cost-effective locations for offsetting projects in large corporations and industries in China, India and Brazil, he said these are not the locations or groups that need funding most. He noted a demand for holistic solutions that target the most vulnerable and employ metrics and measurements that allow organizations to take responsibility for their emissions.

Discussion: In response to a question about insurance for smallholder farmers, Pablo Suarez said the problem was not just that we are asking them to pay for adaptation, but that such insurance is not even being offered. Regarding technical assistance for project design, he said UNDP is working on a new facility on climate risk for development. One participant observed that it is easier to identify mitigation projects than adaptation projects, since it can be hard to define how adaptation differs from mainstream development.

Responding to a comment that “offsetting is greenwash for the guilty conscience,” Tejas Ewing said it is only greenwash when money is paid and success is claimed for poor projects that are not successful. He underscored that COP 15 is premised on the idea of paying for progress in other countries, and said setting standards and metrics will make it easier for effective work with clear results on adaptation.

Regarding a question on whether the financing mechanisms for Africa outlined by Lloyd Chingambo are similar to those that caused the economic crisis in the US, Lloyd Chingambo said these mechanisms are strictly regulated and do not resemble the US situation.

On a question about funding and scaling-up efforts, Pablo Suarez said processes that connect key stakeholders and sound projects that demonstrate benefits for the poor will achieve results.

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WHAT DO THE MOST VULNERABLE COUNTRIES WANT FROM THE COPENHAGEN NEGOTIATIONS: This high-level session brought together senior political figures to discuss what the most vulnerable countries sought from Copenhagen. The session was moderated by IIED Director Camilla Toulmin.

Presentations: President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives highlighted that the “frontline states” have committed to carbon neutrality and will die doing the right thing. He argued that it is cheaper, more sensible and more economically viable to be green. He underscored that after these negotiations, the Maldives will cease to exist if we continue with business-as-usual. He called for good governance and direct access to finance, including a fund that would start promptly in 2010. He said many countries believe that more than 10% of funds should go to the top vulnerable countries, which he felt was desirable.

On a question about perspectives on migration, he said it requires leaving behind vital elements of a culture, but stressed that dry land is the bottom line.

When asked how his country is mainstreaming climate change and integrating it into development plans, he said local people have the ability to innovate and understand local problems more effectively and efficiently than foreign consultants. He argued that local people should devise the adaptation plans and then the international agencies can fine tune them.

Charity Kaluki Ngilu, Minister of Water and Irrigation of Kenya, voiced a long list of environment, development and justice needs. She called for financial support but underscored that the vulnerable states did not come to COP15 to “beg” and will not accept business as usual. She also highlighted the need for reproductive planning to address the health and population challenges. When asked how her country was mainstreaming climate change into development planning, she said they are focusing on ensuring that communities are involved in and obtaining ownership over projects.

Batilda Burian, Minister for Environment of Tanzania, stressed the need for a fair, ambitious and just COP decision that does not hinder Tanzania’s development path. She said Tanzania is ready to work on adaptation and MRV should they be provided with technology, financing, and capacity building. In reference to ensuring a future where greenhouse gas concentrations are restricted to 350ppm, she urged delegates to “act not on what is profitable but on what is right.”

Discussion: On a question about the impact on negotiations of African countries walking out of the talks on 14 December, Minister Ngilu said that in withdrawing from talks they hoped to “reconvene and re-strategize and come back to the negotiating table.” Minister Burian said an outcome must be fair and inclusive. Reflecting on the Development and Climate Days event, she thanked IIED for its work in sensitizing the developed world on the challenges facing vulnerable countries.

Saleemul Huq, IIED, thanked everyone for participating in the event and declared the meeting closed at 5:00 pm.

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FOURTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON COMMUNITY-BASED ADAPTATION (CBA): This event will take place from 21-27 February 2010, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The conference aims to share and consolidate the latest developments in CBA planning and practice in different sectors and countries amongst practitioners, policymakers, researchers, funders and the communities at risk. It will disseminate lessons learnt both at the conference and through conference proceedings. Ultimately the aim is to share knowledge and experiences to help those most vulnerable to climate change. For more information contact: Saleemul Huq, Hannah Reid; e-mails: or

UNFCCC SUBSIDIARY BODIES: These meetings will convene from 31 May to 11 June 2010, in Bonn, Germany. For more information contact: tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; Internet:

2010 INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION CONFERENCE: This event will be held from 29 June to 1 July 2010 on the Gold Coast, Australia. The event will focus on “preparing for the unavoidable impacts of climate change, and will be co-hosted by Australia’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship. For more information contact: Conference Secretariat, tel: +61-7-3368-2422; fax: +61-7-3368-2433; e-mail:; Internet:

DELHI INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY CONFERENCE (DIREC): This event will take place from 27-29 October 2010, in New Delhi, India. It will be the fourth global ministerial level conference on renewable energy, and will consist of a ministerial meeting, business-to-business and business-to-government meetings, side events and a trade show and exhibition. For more information contact: Rajneesh Khattar; tel:  +91-11-4279-5054; fax: +91-11-4279-5098/99; e-mail:; Internet:

SIXTEENTH SESSION OF THE UNFCCC COP AND SIXTH MEETING OF THE COP SERVING AS THE MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE KYOTO PROTOCOL: This meeting is expected to convene at the end of 2010, in Mexico City, Mexico. For more information contact: tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; Internet:

The Development and Climate Days Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <>. This issue was written and edited by Chris Spence and Liz Willetts. The Editor is Leonie Gordon <>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by IIED. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (in HTML and PDF formats) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, New York 10022, United States of America.