The Cancun Agreements

An assessment by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

key steps of the United Nations Climate Change Conference


Adapting to the impacts of climate change

The conference established the Cancun Adaptation Framework, which will strengthen action on adaptation in developing countries through international cooperation. It will support better planning and implementation of adaptation measures through increased financial and technical support, and through strengthening and/or establishing regional centres and networks. The framework will also boost research, assessments and technology cooperation on adaptation, as well as strengthen education and public awareness.

In addition to the Cancun Adaptation Framework, the conference also established an Adaptation Committee to promote the implementation of stronger action on adaptation by providing technical support and guidance to countries, strengthening knowledge-sharing and promoting synergy between a range of stakeholders. The composition and procedures of the committee, as well as its linkages to other institutional arrangements, are still to be developed, and Governments submitted their ideas on this to the secretariat by 21 February, 2011.

The conference also established a process for least developed countries (LDCs) and other interested developing countries to formulate and implement national adaptation plans (NAPs) to identify and address their medium and long-term adaptation needs.

This builds upon the positive experience of LDCs up to now in addressing their urgent and immediate adaptation needs through similar plans which were supported via the LDC Expert Group. The mandate of this technical expert body was therefore extended for another five years.

Also, a clear work programme on how best to address loss and damage from climate change impacts in developing countries was established. During the next two years, countries will consider options on how to manage and reduce the climate change risk to developing nations. This includes the possible development of a climate risk insurance facility. It also includes ways to address rehabilitation from the impacts of such climate change-related events as sea-level rise.

The Cancun Adaptation Framework will strengthen adaptation action in developing countries.

New Adaptation Committee to promote stronger action on adaptation.

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