6 April 2007 – Press Note
Did you know that…
Climate change presents great challenges to society by raising the risk of negative impacts on human society, the economy, and the Earth. The IPCC today released the Summary for Policy Makers of its Working Group II Report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. The OECD welcomes this important study, which underscores the need for strengthened policy to limit the impacts of climate change. The OECD is working to support OECD countries in the use of adaptation policies to limit their vulnerability to climate change impacts, and to integrate adaptation considerations into their development co-operation activities. In parallel with adaptation, mitigation efforts must move ahead to avoid the worst damages over the long-term.
A key message of the IPCC report is that urban populations, infrastructure and wetlands in coastal zones are likely to face significant damages from sea-level rise, storm surges and other extreme weather events. A forthcoming OECD report, Policy Frameworks for Adaptation to Climate Change in Coastal Zones, examines policies, strategies and legal provisions in place in the Gulf of Mexico -- stretching from Florida to Yucatan -- and how these might be adjusted to adapt to climate change. A recent OECD report, Climate Change in the European Alps, highlights impacts in the Alpine ski industry as temperatures rise, and outlines a range of adaptation options, some of which are already in use by many resort operators. While some adaptation is already occurring, more action is warranted and will become essential if the costs of climate change are to be limited. A key challenge is to “climate-proof” development in particularly vulnerable areas.
All countries need to adapt to climate change, however many developing countries are particularly vulnerable. Recognising this, OECD Environment and Development Ministers adopted in April 2006 an OECD “Declaration on Integrating Climate Change Adaptation in Development Co-operation”. OECD is working with countries on the co-ordination and sharing of good practices on integrating adaptation into development planning and assistance. OECD is examining the links between climate change, vulnerability, and development, and looking at opportunities to integrate climate change adaptation into sectoral, economic and development policies, as well as large-scale infrastructure investments in different geographic regions and countries.
The OECD provides a knowledge-based forum for governments to assess and enhance understanding about the risks of climate change, and what to do about them. It is at the forefront of advancing information about the economics of climate change and policy solutions, including building a better understanding of the methods of estimating the impacts of climate change and the benefits of climate change policies. This includes work on methods to measure the impacts -- in both monetary and non-monetary terms -- of climate policy in the areas of sea-level rise and agriculture. New work will examine the benefits of action, or costs of inaction, in addressing climate change in specific regions.
Source: Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Linking Climate Change and Development (OECD, 2005)
Relevant OECD reports & publications: