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Addressing climate adaptation through equity concepts

Achala C. Abeysinghe

Briefing, 4 pages

Equity — fairness — is central in ongoing negotiations for a new legally binding international climate change agreement, to be adopted in 2015. But the debate focuses heavily on burden and effort sharing for mitigation. Adaptation gets very little attention. Yet adaptation needs are real, immediate, and will likely escalate unless mitigation efforts are substantially more
ambitious. Adaptation costs fall hardest on vulnerable developing countries, and must be addressed for a new agreement to have global acceptance. Equity provides a strong basis for capturing all the issues pertinent to a fair and effective agreement. This briefing paper reviews current thinking on equity and adaptation, lists seven key elements of equity, and proposes seven action points that a new global agreement must take.

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