Adaptation Research Alliance launches at COP26

Energy & Climate Change

From Karen Thomas in Glasgow

A global initiative to promote investment and partnerships, to build capacity and promote actions that adapt people and places to climate change will launch today at COP26.

The Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA) was proposed at COP25 two years ago in Madrid and took shape at a meeting in January of 33 agencies and research bodies. It launches under the UK’s presidency of this year’s summit, part of the government’s adaptation and resilience campaign.

ARA is led by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, “to promote global collaboration, and to increase investment and capacity in action-oriented research and practical adaptation solutions”, FCO senior climate advisor Rosalind West announced at the UK presidency pavilion yesterday.

It will connect researchers to funders of research and of climate action, aiming to scale up science-based solutions to meet specific, place-based needs.

“ARA aims to take an impact-driven, user-centred approach to bring the right solutions to affected communities, to address the most pressing needs and gaps in knowledge,” West said.

Part of ARA’s brief is to co-ordinate global efforts to help communities most affected by climate impacts to adapt to extreme weather, particularly in developing countries. It aims to connect researchers worldwide and to build links between scientists, governments, communities and people from marginalised groups.

Yesterday was dedicated to adaptation at COP26. UK Climate-Change Committee (CCC) adaptation committee chair Baroness Brown of Cambridge pointed out that adaptation had a dedicated day, whereas climate mitigation – cutting emissions – is a thread that runs throughout the climate summit, and is not seen in isolation.

She urged all areas of government to embrace managing climate impacts and to stop treating adaptation “as Defra’s problem”.

“The CCC is pushing hard to link adaptation to net zero – you simply cannot have the one without the other,” Baroness Brown said. “The slogan has to be, let’s get to a resilient net zero.”

More #COP26 bits and bobs @KT_environment

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