IUCN media brief: 16 December 2009 - progress too slow on adaptation

16 December 2009 | News story

THE LATEST: There remains considerable disagreement on key issues related to finance, reporting on progress on adaptation, and even on what the final adaptation agreement will be called - between a “framework” and a “programme”. Coming in to Copenhagen, adaptation was seen as one of the areas where real progress could be made, but the emerging reality is that the negotiations on adaptation will need to go on well into 2010 - delays which only add to the urgency of coming to an agreement.

THE QUOTE: “There has been progress on many of the details in the overall text of an agreement” says Neville Ash, Head of IUCN’s Ecosystem Management Programme, “but governments have a long way to go before agreement is reached on many of the big issues still under negotiation – and the longer we wait before implementing adaptation measures, the greater will be the cost of adapting.”

Background: Leaders at Copenhagen should make robust commitments and a timetable for achieving a legally binding treaty for the post-2012 climate change regime as early as possible. 

IUCN urges leaders meeting at UNFCCC COP15 to include nature’s solutions to reduce emissions and cope with impacts of climate change in a future deal. Nature is ready to provide powerful tools for both climate change mitigation and adaptation which are already available, cost-effective and sustainable. The potential benefits of a REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) mechanism and the role of ecosystems in enabling people to adapt to the impacts of climate change should be recognized.

Key Issues:
• Managing nature will play a key role in our ability to cope with the changing climate and reduce emissions
• Managing and conserving ecosystems can increase resilience and reduce the vulnerability of people to the impacts of climate change. Ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change should be included in a post-2012 adaptation framework.
• Preventing deforestation and restoring forest areas through REDD-plus can combat climate change in a cost-effective way while generating tangible benefits for local livelihoods and biodiversity. REDD-plus must be an integral part of the future climate deal.

Events and Material for Media:

Wednesday 16 December 19:00: Photo & video opportunity: Copenhagen Zoo keeps the elephants' lights on during Earth Hour

WHAT: During earth hour Copenhagen zoo will be in the dark, except for the elephants house, which will be lit up by eco-friendly power, including solar. A candle-lit path will lead to the elephants house from the zoo entrance. Solar panels have been installed at the entrance.
WHERE: Copenhagen Zoo, Roskildevej 32, 2000 Frederiksberg-Copenhagen

Thursday 17 December, 14:20, photo opportunity, 100 women leaders, including many Ministers and Heads of State all wearing “I Am An Agent of C-Change” t-shirts. Room Liva Weel, Bella Center. By the Global Gender Climate Alliance.

Friday 18 December, IUCN closing statement.

Spokespersons: Ninni Ikkala, IUCN’s Climate Change Coordinator, ninni.ikkala@iucn.org  
Claire Parker Senior Climate Change Policy Consultant claire.n.parker@btopenworld.com  
Stewart Maginnis, IUCN’s Director of Environment and Development, stewart.maginnis@iucn.org  
Carole Saint-Laurent IUCN Senior Forest Policy Advisor, carsaint@bellnet.ca  (for REDD),
Neville Ash IUCN’s Head of Ecosystem Based Management Programme ashn@iucn.org  (for ecosystem-based adaptation)
Wendy Foden, IUCN Species Programme wendy.foden@iucn.org  (for species).

Media team: Pia Drzewinski, IUCN Global communications, m+41 76 505 8865 pia.drzewinski@iucn.org