03 Dec 2015
Though historically not a major contributor to climate change, Viet Nam is disproportionately affected by its impacts and is considered an extreme risk country.
While many of us feel that the Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Climate Change meeting in Paris will not affect us directly, the decisions made over the next couple of weeks will actually impact us all – these decisions will influence the future of economic growth and human development. In Asia, increasing temperatures and variability in rainfall are resulting in floods and droughts, impacting crop yield. Rising sea level and increased incidence of extreme events are damaging assets and disrupting economic activity. The cost of responding to these climate change impacts is formidable. Developing countries especially struggle with these costs, as they must balance the immediate needs of disaster response with the longer term investments of sustainable development, such as health and education. In 2009, the COP recognized this challenge and agreed to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 to support the response to climate change. This finance would be a “balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation”, with funding for adaptation to be “prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries.” Mitigation refers to reducing or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. Adaptation refers to taking measures to strengthen resilience, to impacts of climate change which are already occurring and