Vinson Kurian | Thiruvananthapuram, June 09 |
Many natural adaptation systems nearing hard limits, says UN-ESCAP
Rapid increase in temperatures could potentially impact the effectiveness of adaptation measures against multiple and interacting climatic and non-climatic risks. For now, within the soft-limits, integrated, risk-informed, and multi-sectoral adaptation solutions provide wide-ranging benefits.
Adaptation planning and implementation is also picking up pace worldwide. These measures, however, are predominantly targeted towards near-term risks, focused on planning rather than implementation, small in scale, fragmented and sector-specific, says Sanjay Srivastava, Chief, Disaster Risk Reduction, at UN-ESCAP.
Substantial adaptation gaps
According to the UN-ESCAP, with increasing temperatures, many natural adaptation systems are nearing the hard limits of their natural adaptation capacity and more will reach this limit. Above 1.5°C of global warming, some ecosystem-based adaptation measures will reach their hard-limits thereby losing their effectiveness in providing benefits to people
The recent Adaptation Gap Report 2021 published by UNEP highlights that substantial gaps exist between current adaptation investments and those needed to effectively respond to climate risks and impacts, Srivastava pointed out to BusinessLine .
The IPCC Report (2021/2022) highlights that climatic and non-climatic risks are compounding and cascading across sectors and regions. Weather and climate extremes are also causing transboundary economic and social impacts due to interconnected supply chains, markets and natural resource flows.
In this context, transformative adaptation is an effective and sustainable way to reduce the climate risk, says Srivastava.
Transformative adaptation must be risk-informed at all levels–regional, sub-regional, national, and sub-national. For transboundary hazards that represent shared vulnerabilities and risks, adaptation measures must include integration of the climate change scenarios into various medium and long-term plans and programmes both at the national and sub-regional levels.
Estimated adaptation costs in developing countries are five to ten times greater than current international public adaptation finance flows, Srivastava noted. This adaptation finance gap is widening.
A review of updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) reveal the four key sectors namely agriculture, infrastructure, water and disaster risk management make up three-quarters of the quantified adaptation finance needs.