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This Week in PubHub: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

March 26, 2010

(Kyoko Uchida manages PubHub, the Foundation Center’s online catalog of foundation-sponsored publications. In her last post, she wrote about women and health.)

"Defy Barriers, Effect Change: Access to Health, Food and Water" is the theme of the upcoming ninth annual Global Philanthropy Forum conference, April 18-21, in Redwood City, California. As it did last year, the Foundation Center is providing grants data, research, and relevant news items for four of the plenary sessions: "Providing Food Security," "Advancing Global Health," "Improving Access to Water," and "Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation." In advance of the conference, the center will be featuring reports on each of these issue areas at PubHub. This week's focus is on "Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation."

How can we address the causes of climate change and minimize the effects of global warming? Black Carbon: A Science/Policy Primer (Pew Center on Global Climate Change) focuses on a component of soot that absorbs sunlight in the atmosphere, changes rainfall patterns, and accelerates the melting of snow and ice. But unlike most greenhouse gases, the report notes, soot particles have a short atmospheric lifetime, so emissions reductions produce almost immediate results. As an alternative to controlling black carbon emissions as part of a comprehensive global climate policy, the authors suggest a targeted regional approach focused on major sources of those emissions.

The challenges of taking a global approach to climate change mitigation are spelled out in Verifying Mitigation Efforts in a New Climate Agreement (Pew Center on Global Climate Change). The issue brief examines the key elements of a rigorous system of measurement, reporting, and verification that would lead to a clear determination of individual country's compliance under a facilitative (rather than punitive) post-2012 framework.

Even as efforts to slow global climate change gain urgency, regions affected by droughts, floods, and other climate change-related hazards must find ways to adapt sooner rather than later. What might a climate change-resilient development strategy look like? Shaping Climate-Resilient Development: A Framework for Decision-Making (Economics of Climate Adaptation Working Group) offers guidance with respect to cost-effective measures that could offset economic losses from climate change effects and result in more sustainable development models.

Last but not least, the Rockefeller Foundation white paper Building Climate Change Resilience looks at a new initiative by the foundation to raise awareness of the need to build resilience to climate change effects and test and support local approaches to adaptation in Asia, Africa, and the United States.

Obviously, global climate change will affect almost every aspect of our lives -- from agriculture, to food security, to land use, to trade and transportation -- over the coming decades. And that means we'll all have a role to play in shaping mitigation and adaptation efforts. Be sure to check out the more than seventy other reports on global climate change in PubHub. And let us know what you think.

-- Kyoko Uchida

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