Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change and Weather Extremes
Climate change was long not considered as an issue of international political importance. It was only in 1992 with the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that international political efforts, and national climate policies slowly started to emerge. This chapter provides a short timeline of climate policy negotiations, focusing on key policy developments on international levels. Implications for policies on a national level are discussed in subsequent chapters. It has to be noted that importance of developments such as the UNFCCC, and the Kyoto Protocol is not in just their direct, but also in their indirect (flow-on) effects on national, industry, and organizational-level action on climate change. A closer look at the history of adaptation within the UNFCCC process shows that the original main intention of the UNFCCC treaty was to focus on mitigation efforts, and the development of emission reduction targets to ‘prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’ (United Nations, 1992). International negotiations mainly centered on country-level targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions or mitigation measures, leaving it by and large up to individual countries to design policy instruments and mechanisms to target specific industry-sectors or high-emitting activities. It was only since the early 2000s that the focus of climate policy negotiations broadened to consider adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
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