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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

Cancun saved the process, but now what?

Last Saturday, in Cancun, a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions in all of the world’s major economies was reached. This means a first step in a long process of negotiations that will continue through the next years, until a clearer deal with dates and amounts is set. Nevertheless, this is probably the most significant step since the release of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. For the first time, all major economies agreed to: cut GHGs emissions, reduce deforestation, transfer technologies to developing countries, and establish a yearly fund to help developing countries to adapt.

However, several questions remain unresolved such as: to what extent is the cut to be done? when will the emissions cut be definitely in place? how is the yearly fund money going to be distributed? Several say that despite the agreement is a big step, it does not prevent temperatures from rising 4C or beyond, and here’s a plausible future to agriculture under a 4C warming.

Meanwhile, negotiations cannot be delayed and in the short term, dates and emission peaks need to be agreed. Further, adaptation processes need to be properly guided and funded. In this respect, global initiatives such as CGIAR’s Consortium Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) are wise initiatives that can aid to the development and implementation of adaption plans, to vulnerability diagnosis, and to the proper and transparent allocation of funds for adaption. But at the same time, local partners need to be involved in the processes and communication pathways need to be optimised.

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