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REPORT: IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report – What’s in it for Small Island Developing States?


Elizabeth Carabine of Overseas Development Institute and Mairi Dupar of CDKN introduce the latest in the series of guides to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, which looks at the findings for Small Island Developing States.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has produced the most comprehensive assessment of climate changeClimate change is a lasting change in weather patterns over long periods of time. It can be a natural phenomena and and has occurred on Earth even before people inhabited it. Quite different is a current situation that is also referred to as climate change, anthropogenic climate change, or ... ever. The Fifth Assessment Report, which the IPCC is releasing in four parts between September 2013 and November 2014, is the work of 830 expert authors, from 85 countries. Its first three volumes already stretch to 5,000+ pages.

Now CDKN and the Overseas Development Institute have released a succinct guide to the assessment for decision-makers in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report: What’s in it for Small Island Developing States?  distils the richest material on climate impactsConsequences of climate and climate change on natural and human systems. (IIED)A specific change in a system caused by its exposure to climate change. Impacts may be harmful (threat) or beneficial (opportunity). (UKCIP) and trends in small islands, and SIDS’ experiences in adaptationAdjustments in human and natural systems, in response to actual or expected climate stimuli or their effects, that moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. (IPPC) and mitigationMitigation refers to actions that reduce our contribution to the causes of climate change. This means reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), through energy efficiency and using alternative forms of transport and energy.(UKCIP) from the thousands of pages of the Fifth Assessment Report and complemented with similar, peer reviewed case studies from such countries. The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report: What’s in it for Small Island Developing States? aims to make the IPCC’s important material more accessible and usable and responds to wide demand for this type of  information.

The guide is part of a suite of materials to promote the key findings of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, which include companion volumes for Africa and South Asia. Please visit www.cdkn.org/ar5-toolkit for the publications and a range of communications resources, including free-to-use images and infographics.

The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report: What’s in it for Small Island Developing States? highlights the following IPCC findings as being of particular relevance to SIDS:

  • The climate is already changing and SIDS are already feeling the impacts.
  • Further climate change is inevitable in the coming decades
  • Climate change is affecting SIDS’ growth and development.
  • Climate change poses an existential threat to some SIDS.
  • Adaptation can reduce the impacts of climate change, but there are limits and risks involved.
  • The economic costCost: The consumption of resources such as labour time, capital, materials, fuels, etc. as the consequence of an action. In economics, all resources are valued at their opportunity cost, which is the value of the most valuable alternative use of the resources. Costs are defi ned in a variety of ... of adaptation to climate change is high in SIDS relative to the size of their economies.
  • SIDS stand to benefit from further integration of climate adaptationAdjustments in human and natural systems, in response to actual or expected climate stimuli or their effects, that moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. (IPPC), mitigation and development approachesCore to livelihoods approaches are a set of principles that underpin best practice in any development intervention: *People-centred *Responsive and participatory *Multi-level *Conducted in partnership * Sustainable *Dynamic.
  • Transformation to a low-carbon economyA green economy is a economy or economic development model based on sustainable development and a knowledge of ecological economics implies new patterns of investment International cooperation is vital to avert dangerous climate change and SIDS governments can promote ambitious global action.

Download the full report The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report: What’s in it for Small Island Developing States? and leave your comment below.

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