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On September 23, heads of state and leaders in finance, business and civil society will gather in New York City for the United Nations Climate Summit, aimed at jump-starting talks to reach a global climate agreement by December 2015. It's hardly the first time these actors have convened to counter climate change. Here's why this summit is worth watching.

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After nearly two weeks of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Bonn, the pathway to Paris and the new international climate agreement to be agreed there at the end of 2015 is beginning to emerge.

At this mid-year negotiating session held between the annual summits that take place in December, climate negotiators began to discuss key issues, particularly the framework for the national offers that individual countries will make (their “intended nationally determined contributions”).

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As coastal communities across the United States continue to fall victim to drought, coastal flooding, and other impacts of extreme weather and climate change, leaders at the metropolitan and federal levels are beginning to take action. Yet, Congressional action is an essential but missing piece to comprehensively addressing climate change.

However, Florida's continuing sea-level rise vulnerability suggests Congress may shift its attention to climate impacts.

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Transformation is a word we use so often in our daily lives that it seems strange to stop and think about what it really means. But in adaptation circles, the definition and role of transformation has recently become a hot topic of conversation, in part because transformational change was an important theme of the recent IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.

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Recently, WRI hosted a roundtable on Adaptation Finance in Washington, D.C., bringing together experts in development and climate finance to discuss this challenge: Countries and donors are mobilizing hundreds of millions of dollars to help people adapt to a changing climate. How do they get it to the local communities that need it most?

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The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has big ambitions: It aspires to become the main global fund for providing climate change finance, contributing to activities like the design of resilient cities and the expansion of low-emission power generation.

While the GCF Board should be ambitious and innovative, they can also look to what’s been done before. Drawing knowledge from the experiences of other critical climate and development funds is one way to ensure that the GCF succeeds.

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Climate change mitigation and adaptation investment needs are urgent, significant, and growing. The world will need to devote trillions of dollars into clean energy, sustainable transport, and other green infrastructure to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees C and prevent the worsening effects of climate change. Private sector investment will be critical to achieving the type of low-carbon, climate-resilient growth necessary to secure a sustainable future.

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India struggles with water scarcity, a problem that poses especially huge implications for the country’s food security and rural livelihoods. The country has long-battled its scarcity issues through Watershed Development, a participatory approach to improve water management through afforestation and reforestation, sustainable land management, soil and water conservation, water-harvesting infrastructure, and social interventions. But while watershed development has been employed in communities throughout India, its potential long-term costs and benefits have not been well-understood or studied--until now.

A new working paper from WRI and WOTR finds that watershed development has provided more than $9 million dollars’ worth of food security and water management benefits to the water-stressed community, Kumbharwadi.

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Watershed Development (WSD) in India has been a part of the national approach to improve agricultural production and alleviate poverty in rainfed regions since the 1970s.

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In most developing economies, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) employ up to 78 percent of the population and account for approximately 29 percent of the national GDP. Their presence in communities throughout the world– big and small, rural and urban – allows them to get products and services to hard-to-reach populations. This market concentration and high level of employment means MSMEs are in a good position to contribute to making vulnerable populations more climate-resilient.

But while MSMEs can assist in helping vulnerable households adapt to climate change, they are also extremely vulnerable to the impacts of a warmer world, such as intensification of precipitation and shifts in water availability. It’s important that MSMEs overcome these challenges and capitalize on their unique business opportunities in ways that help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change.

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