Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Development Co-operation: POLICY GUIDANCE

Tackling climate change is perhaps the greatest environmental challenge we face today. If more ambitious policies are not introduced, the OECD projects world greenhouse gas emissions to increase by about 70% by 2050, with severe consequences: destructive sea level rise and storm surges, more frequent and intense heat waves, and agricultural yields declining in many parts of the world. And even if we take actions to combat climate change, some degree of global warming from past emissions is already locked in, posing a serious challenge to social and economic development in all countries. Therefore, it is imperative that we adapt to the already changing climate. Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because of their high dependence on natural resources and their limited capacity to cope with these impacts. They will have to ensure that their development policies and strategies are resilient to a changing climate. International donors have a critical role to play in supporting such efforts. It is within this context that the OECD Environment Policy Committee (EPOC) and the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) have combined their expertise to develop this Policy Guidance on Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Development Co- operation. The product of over two years of close collaboration between these two committees, this policy guidance reflects the state of the art in confronting the challenge of integrating adaptation within core development activities. Thus, the policy guidance outlines a number of priorities for governments and international donors. It recommends moving the co-ordination for implementing adaptation activities into powerful central bodies, and integrating consideration of long term climate risks in national planning processes as well as in budgets. It also highlights the need to boost the capacity of sectoral Ministries, local governments, project planners and donor agencies to better assess the implications of climate change, and to examine existing policies and frameworks as to whether they might be resilient in the face of future climate change. Implementation of such an integrated approach as outlined by this policy guidance would require close co-ordination across government agencies, across government levels, between governments and donors, and with civil society and the private sector. We hope that this policy guidance will be a fundamental resource for both international donors and developing country partners alike.

Date published: 
October 2009
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